Daniels' sprained knee leaves Wizards without top two point guards

Updated: December 15, 2007, 7:33 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- First, Gilbert Arenas. Now, Antonio Daniels. The Washington Wizards have lost their top two point guards to injuries.

Antonio Daniels

Daniels

Daniels, who sprained his right MCL during the second quarter of Thursday night's win over Miami, is expected to miss two to four weeks with a sprained knee, leaving the Wizards without their top point guards for at least seven games.

"I knew it as soon as it happened," Daniels said.

He told Wizards trainer Eric Waters during the fourth quarter that his knee was badly hurt. Daniels had an MRI on Friday.

"It's a lot of swelling," Daniels said. "When the swelling goes down, we'll have a better idea."

The 11th-year veteran said he's never had an injury where he's missed significant time.

"I didn't think it was going to be two-to-four weeks," he said. "I thought it was going to be a game or two."

Arenas had knee surgery Nov. 21 and isn't expected to return until March at the earliest.

The setback left the Wizards with eight healthy players as they prepared for Saturday night's game against Sacramento.

Center Etan Thomas is out indefinitely after undergoing open heart surgery in October, and rookie forward Oleksiy Pecherov has been sidelined with a broken right ankle. Backup center Andray Blatche also is hobbled with a sore foot, and coach Eddie Jordan said Blatche's availability was a gametime decision.

Rookie Nick Young started at point guard Saturday night -- his first NBA start. Jordan said that he would consider using Roger Mason as an occasional starter, and might even use Caron Butler in the backcourt with DeShawn Stevenson and start Darius Songaila.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said the team will consider signing a player, which would likely put it over the league's luxury tax. Washington had been reluctant to add another player this season because of the tax, even though the manpower shortage sometimes leaves Jordan without enough players to run a routine practice.

"In the next two or three days, we'll look around and see if we can bring in a player that we feel can help us," Grunfeld said.

There were concerns that Arenas' injury would wreck the Wizards' season, but Daniels has filled in well. He scored in double figures in 13 of 14 games and was averaging 11 points and 6.6 assists in Arenas' absence.

Washington has won three straight to improve to 9-5 without Arenas.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press