Washington coach Flip Saunders said before Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks that Arenas' knee was bothering him. "His knee is acting up and is a little sore, and it looks like he's going to sit this one out," Saunders said.
But after the game, Arenas revealed his scheme to get Nick Young into the starting lineup.
"I told [Young] I'd sacrifice playing tonight so he can get some time in because I know he's kind of frustrated he's not getting a chance to crack the [small forward] position, especially since we're going three guards," Arenas said, smiling. "So I told him I'll go and fake an injury or say something's wrong with me so you can start."
The plan worked, for both Young and the Wizards. Young started, played 31 minutes and scored a team-high 24 points to lead the Wizards to a 107-92 win.
When asked how his knee is feeling, Arenas said, "I'm fine," The Washington Post reported.
Arenas signaled he would play in the Wizards' game Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to the report.
Tuesday's game, in addition to being rookie John Wall's preseason home debut, was to be Arenas' first appearance for Washington at Verizon Center since his 50-game suspension last season for bringing guns into the locker room. Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, scored 19 points and added seven assists.
Arenas has maintained a businesslike approach during the preseason, showing little of the charisma that helped make him a star before the scandal.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.