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MRI shows damage so Wizards guard has knee surgery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Washington Wizards leading scorer Gilbert Arenas underwent two different surgical procedures on his left knee
on Wednesday and will miss about three months.

Arenas had been experiencing swelling and soreness in the knee
which he had surgically repaired late last season. After sitting
out the past two games, Arenas did not travel with the team to
Charlotte and underwent an MRI Wednesday morning, which revealed a
cartilage tear.

"I'm just going to sit in my sorrows again. I have three months
to [be] back positive again, but right now, it's hard," Arenas
said in a posting on his blog Wednesday. "I need to start thinking
about longevity in my career instead of just this injury right now.
Every great player has missed at least one year."

Team physician Dr. Marc Connell repaired a partial tear of the
meniscus and performed microfracture surgery on a non-weight
bearing bone on the side of his knee.

"It's not as bad as the injury in April, but it's tough,"
wrote Arenas, who will begin rehabilitation next week.

"We expect Gilbert to make a full recovery," Wizards president
Ernie Grunfeld said.

The 6-foot-4 Arenas is averaging 22.4 points. The Wizards won
both games against struggling Portland and Philadelphia without
Arenas and earned their sixth straight victory hours after Arenas
went under the knife, outlasting Charlotte 114-111 in overtime
Wednesday.

"We did win two games in convincing fashion without him, but it
wasn't like it was the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs," Wizards center Brendan Haywood said before the win over
the Bobcats "Playing without
Gilbert Arenas is going to hurt this team."

Arenas began the season by playing as though nothing was wrong,
averaging about 40 minutes per game. But after Washington's third
game, he said his knee felt stiff, "like a 5-pound weight is on
it."

He then had excess fluid drained from the knee for the second
time in three weeks on Nov. 7. He played the next night, a loss to
New Jersey that dropped the Wizards to 0-4, but had a long
conversation with Nets star Jason Kidd on the court after the final
buzzer. Kidd offered advice about dealing with a return from
surgery.

Arenas stayed in the lineup until missing Saturday's game
against Portland, then sitting again Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Without Arenas, coach Eddie Jordan said Antonio Daniels will
continue to play point guard.

"Every team goes through it, and every team tries to find a way
to win on a consistent basis," Jordan said. "We've gotten better
at moving the ball."

This whole ordeal has all been a bit new to Arenas -- a
three-time All-Star -- whose only previous significant injury in the
NBA was an abdominal problem that limited him to 55 games in
2003-04.

He finished third in the league in scoring average in 2006-07 at
28.4 points, but missed the last two weeks of the regular season
and all of the playoffs after having knee surgery.

"Gilbert worked extremely hard this summer to be ready for the
beginning of the regular season," Grunfeld said. "This is very
unfortunate because he was starting to play at a high level prior
to the surgery."

It's another blow to the Wizards, who lost Arenas and Caron Butler to season-ending injuries late last season. Etan Thomas is
out this season after undergoing heart surgery, while Oleksiy
Pecherov is recovering from a broken ankle.

Haywood didn't play against the Bobcats because of a
sprained left ankle, leaving Washington with only nine healthy
players.

"That's the business, man," Haywood said. "Life's not always
fair. He's out right now and everybody is down about it. Everybody
wishes him the best. Right now all we can do is pray for him and
hope he has a speedy recovery."

Jordan wouldn't say whether he'll push management to sign
another player.