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Arenas Practicing (updated)

Gilbert Arenas confirmed to me a short while ago that he's been all-out practicing since last Monday, the day the team got back together following the all-star break. As I reported a few weeks ago, Arenas has been feeling a lot better on that left knee since meeting with a specialist in Miami in the last week of January.

Arenas: "I'm out there feeling like the old Gilbert Arenas again. I'm running, jumping, dunking, feeling good. No pain, no swelling. My balance is back, my speed is back. The only thing I have to get used to again is being around other bodies out there on the court. I'm working on getting timing back. The only thing I'm not doing is playing in games."

That begged the obvious question: Does that mean we are going to see No. 0 on the court again in a game this season?

"I don't want to promise anything, I'm not even ready to think about that right now," Arenas said. "The way I look at it, I rushed back twice and got hurt again twice so this time, I'm going to take my time and make sure. I came back quick twice and it didn't work for me or the team. I'm just going to keep practicing on it, make sure it's all the way right and then go from there."

Arenas said he hasn't wanted to tell the media or public about practicing for fear that it would ramp up the pressure on him to get back onto the court for games. He also asked the team (front office and Ed Tapscott) and teammates to cover for him as well.

Specifically, Arenas has participated in full court games of five-on-five. He's teamed up with the "young guys" against teams comrpised of vets.

"It's about getting my game back but also about helping those youngs learn how to play," Arenas said. "It makes it more competitive."

When Arenas came back early last season and again later for the final stretch and a portion of the playoffs, he did not look like himself. For one thing, he couldn't explode off of his left leg and finish at the rim with his right hand. He was basically a very dangerous spot-up shooter.

I asked him specifically whether where he is compared to the Arenas we saw last season: "Oh, I'm better. I can go off of either leg. I have my burst back."

I'll be writing about this in-depth in tomorrow's paper....

By Ivan Carter  |  February 24, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
 | Tags: Gilbert Arenas, injury  
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Next: You Tell Us: Your Reaction to an Arenas Return

Comments

Hey Ivan Gil should sit the rest of the season.Then if he comes back and gets hurt people are going to say why is he out there anyway.The team is having a lottery season why would he come back.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | February 24, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

HIBACHI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: prescrunk | February 24, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The way this piece is written suggests that Arenas' knee was bothering him prior to the Miami trip during the last week in January.

If true, that's a more telling sign than what he is saying now. That is, the third operation wasn't just a minor clean-up.

What's the real story?

Also, does the insurance coverage factor into the decision to return this year?

Posted by: Izman | February 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me Gil will be back in 3 weeks.

Posted by: ptp23 | February 24, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ivan:
In your story in tomorrow's paper, will you be retracting your comment about how reports last week (in the DC Examiner) stating that Arenas was practicing were inaccurate?

By the way, show of hands of how many people are surprised that Arenas' knee felt better after seeing a doctor other than the team doctor? Anybody?
- crickets -

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 24, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Wizards contemplating bringing Gilbert back when they're 13.5 games out of the playoffs with 26 games to play.

Who is running this team, the Bush Administration?

Posted by: bryc3 | February 24, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

SWWWWWWWWWWEEEETT!

Posted by: musicman65000 | February 24, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Arenas should come back and play this season, but he/they should limit his minutes to 5-15 minutes a night max just so he can get some competitive feel back. No point in ruining our lottery chances and no point in ruining his knee too soon, but some play should help him be more ready for next season.

Posted by: captclamdigger | February 24, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

sweet at least some positive news....no pain no swelling etc. he needs to take it very carefully like he said. about 15-20 games this season playing about 20 min a night as a sub should be perfect for him. Maybe the last 5 games he can ramp it up to 30 or so.

Ideally, that will get his juices flowing and in game shape, and next year he will be the old Gilbert.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert should keep doing what he is doing now, and forget about coming back this season. And hopefully, next season can be what we all have been waiting for....Ernie has not given up on the Big Three and neither have I. The Wizards are going to come back next year! But Gilbert is the key. So again he should write this season off and be HIBACHI READY next season. We love you Gil!

Posted by: alr47 | February 24, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"The team is having a lottery season why would he come back."

The Wiz are in the lottery regardless.

Wishing that we would tank the season for a better shot a Griffin is fruitless because:

1) Tap, Ernie, and AJ are clearly not tanking. Incompetent or not, they are trying. Ernie didn't give away Butler or AJ. Say what you will about AJ's abilities, he is NOT mailing it in this year.

2) Even if they tried to tank, it will be hard to be as bad as the Kings without the players they just traded. The Clips and Warriors also suck pretty bad. I know we are not very good, but it's hard to imagine that we'll loose more then all three competitors for ping-pong balls

3) Karma has not recently rewarded teams that tanked with #1 picks.


Take away the reasons for tanking, and I think most observers would rather see Gil playing than Mike James.

Posted by: cballer | February 24, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I would certainly like to see Arenas play. But I'm not sure placating the fans is a good enough reason to risk it at this point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope we can all agree that if GA and BH both come back,and the team wins .75+ of their remaining games, it would wind up being a wonderful thing for next year's team. God forbid they win 8-10 in a row!

Posted by: sxsweet | February 24, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Good points on Jamison, cballer. I've always thought his leadership was just as important to the team as his production. A lot of guys his age in his position would have been begging their way out of town and onto a playoff team, and if the deadline came and went without a move, they'd have pouted their way through the rest of the season. Hopefully the youngsters are taking note of how a pro conducts himself in the face of a tough situation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Gil feels like his old self again. I have had a tough time understanding why so many people (fans and media) were almost assuming that he was never going to be explosive again.

The world that we live in has made it so that team doctors only give either really aggressive time tables or really conservative ones and the media usually feels the need to give their own opinion (which fans usually over-react to).

I prefer to take a wait and see approach. Just remember that this past summer Skins media reports always assumed that Rocky McIntosh and C. Rogers would miss the start of the season recovering from knee surgery. Instead, they both participated in the preseason and started game 1.

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 24, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Buz(Wiz)zards are DEAD to me....

Franchise may NEVER/EVER recover from the GM Unseld and Jordan clusterxxxxx

Posted by: unc1dmo | February 24, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the blogger here who broke this news (via the Washington Examiner), but props to him/her, they know who they are... The next day, Ivan refuted that report, but it turns out it was true all along...

Posted by: -CN- | February 24, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Great news to hear. I personally think Gil should come back and get his feet wet at some point, in order to help shake his rust off as early as possible. This should only happen if he feels his knee is maxed out in terms of rehab, and is essentially as good as it's going to get without actually moving at game speed.

Posted by: psps23 | February 24, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

jamison also has seemed more vocal this year in his leadership, at least in the public view, which i think is a good thing. tanking a season is never a good thing, unless you plan on not really bringing back the same group of players the next year. you want your players to be striving for excellence, not hoping for a lucky shot with a ping-pong ball.

Posted by: segastyle | February 24, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

It's great to hear that he's got his burst back. That's huge in helping him get back to where he once was. Now we just have to hope he can get his swagger back. And by that, I mean his willingness to throw himself up to the rim and go all out. If he's out there worried about getting hit because of all these injuries he isn't going to be nearly as effective as before. Arenas was never an all-star because of his height, strength, or shot even. It was his speed and never-say-die attitude on the court that made him so special.

Posted by: dcball | February 24, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice to hear he's back, now all you Gil bashers can get ready to jump back on the bandwagon THE FAIR WEATHER EXPRESS IS GASSED UP AND READY TO GO!!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 24, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

No good coach would take this job unless Arenas proves this season he will be 100% in September.

Posted by: djnumb | February 24, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I would only want Gil back if he was 100% and absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt healthy. Its too much to risk.

But if he was healthy, I would love to see him lace it up and be on the floor.

But if I'm Ernie and Ed Tapscott, I would let him participate but would not play him in games. Its just too much with another 5 years and 100-something million dollars left on his contract.

Posted by: jinbahji@hotmail.com | February 24, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

He doesnt play D, he hogs the ball, and he has now lost a step which means that the 100 million dollars we are going to pay him will be for naught.
Why should I care about him playing?

Posted by: dbeins | February 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

at what point is it considered unethical to hold out players who would obviously make a differrence in a game, simply because you will not make the playoffs. Would nt this be taking a purposeful act to have a artificially worse record in order to gain an advantage in the lottery. why is the maority of the posts look to gain advantage in this way and call it wisdom. God forbid the bus could back over him at any time or he may get a splinter from riding the pine that absesses into staff.

Posted by: Rvf0509 | February 24, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas said he hasn't wanted to tell the media or public about practicing for fear that it would ramp up the pressure on him to get back onto the court for games. He also asked the team (front office and Ed Tapscott) and teammates to cover for him as well."

Sorry Gilby, but you ramped up the pressure on yourself when you demanded and got that $127 mil max money contract.

Wake the F up!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88 gil didnt demand 127 million dollars..he appreciated that they offered it to him and took 111. so you wake the F up. and gil should be our 8th or 9th man off the bench when hes ready to come back this season and play under 10 min a game

Posted by: wiz0nova | February 24, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Great news! I agree that he shouldnt rush back at this point. Gilbert is correct in saying that he tried to please fans the last 2 times and came back too soon and injured the knee again. Since theres no chance of playoffs, he should just stay rehab and whatever he has been doing. I'm also happy to hear he did consult with more specialists, other than the team doctors.
Glad to read about Antawn too and to see he's still here, from a native washingtonian!

Posted by: washwiz | February 24, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

to add to what cballer was saying: no team with the worst record has ended up with the #1 pick in the draft with the modern lottery rules (since like '92). Ask Boston how tanking for Duncan or Oden worked out for them. Basketball gods reward effort.

Posted by: detox04 | February 24, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

lol the #1 pick is going to oklahoma so they can take blake griffin (since hes from oklahoma)..its all david stern's conspiracy. take a look at derrick rose in chicago and lebron in ohio..and what about a few years back when the knicks stunk and a guy by the name of Patrick Ewing was coming out. guess who got the #1 pick then.

Posted by: wiz0nova | February 24, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards have to get Arenas on the court this year to see what they have.

Sure, don't rush him; if he's not 100% (or as close as he'll be) and he's not mentally ready, don't put him in.

But if he's ready, they need to see what he has. He also has to get back on the court too.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 24, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"DC_MAN88 gil didnt demand 127 million dollars..he appreciated that they offered it to him and took 111. so you wake the F up. and gil should be our 8th or 9th man off the bench when hes ready to come back this season and play under 10 min a game

Posted by: wiz0nova | February 24, 2009 7:24 PM "

Where do you get your crack?

Gilby demanded and expected max money since he opted out almost 1.5 years ago.

Gilby should be put in the starting lineup and tested immediately.

Tired of him babying that lil' boo boo on his knee for over 2 years.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations. You've been talking smack about it for a month and finally, finally there's a buyout that actually meets your criteria of a team buying out a guy because they think he's "garbage" (your word) in order to "send a message" (your words) even "if it costs them some money" (your words).

That's one and counting.

This must be a big day for you. Don't overdo the celebration.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88

If more teams cared about winning more than money (cheap abe) there would be a lot more buyouts. No player in their right mind would accept being treated the way the Knicks treated Marbury if they tought they could walk and play for a team that could win a championship.

I forgot AJ would rather play here than have a chance to win in Clevland because he would have been the 6th man there and not be able to take his 22 shots a night?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 24, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

With all this anticipation, I can't imagine Gilbert's return will be anything but underwhelming.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"Congratulations. You've been talking smack about it for a month and finally, finally there's a buyout that actually meets your criteria of a team buying out a guy because they think he's "garbage" (your word) in order to "send a message" (your words) even "if it costs them some money" (your words).

That's one and counting.

This must be a big day for you. Don't overdo the celebration.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 9:39 PM "

I'm glad you're admitting you're wrong. Not the first time you're wrong, won't be the last.

Marbury is just another to add to the buyout list which includes Antoine Walker, Steve Francis, Darius Miles, etc.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2932433

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"DC_MAN88

If more teams cared about winning more than money (cheap abe) there would be a lot more buyouts. No player in their right mind would accept being treated the way the Knicks treated Marbury if they tought they could walk and play for a team that could win a championship.

I forgot AJ would rather play here than have a chance to win in Clevland because he would have been the 6th man there and not be able to take his 22 shots a night?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 24, 2009 9:57 PM "

You're right with the statement that if more teams cared about winning. For Abe, he just wants his lux tax welfare....and upcharging people via Ticketmaster.

AJ always was and always will be a stats guy.

If he's a real captain, then the youngin's on the team would listen to him and not be a bunch of goofballs.

I don't see what his "veteran" leadership has brought to this team, especially when the team's biggest weakness is his biggest weakness, and that be defense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

To the Wizards insiders,Gilbert Fake-arenas,and the bazzards. Don't go away mad....just go away you ##!!* losers!!

Posted by: joe12341 | February 24, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It's good to hear that Gil is on the way back. What's the latest on 'Wood? How did he feel after that hard workout?

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 24, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

2009-10
Gil, Caron, Haywood, Mcguire/Griffin and Jamison-Bring it.

Posted by: ptp23 | February 24, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"2009-10
Gil, Caron, Haywood, Mcguire/Griffin and Jamison-Bring it.

Posted by: ptp23 | February 24, 2009 10:50 PM "

Bring what?

Another trip to the lottery?

Another one and done?

No team goes deep into the playoffs unless their #1 guy is #1 or 2 in the league, or has a deep/productive bench.

Les BouleS have neither.

Keep in mind also that the coaching situation for next season is up in the air too?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

"You can't afford to have a guy struggling with his shot shoot you out of a game," Tapscott said about Nick Young.

This from the coach of the team that has the 3rd worst record in all of basketball. Would be funny if it wasn't so sad how clueless this guy is.
Yea those other guys you're keepin in there for 40 minutes are doin a great job of not shootin you outta games right Tap?
After you're long gone, Nick Young will be puttin up all-star numbers and you'll just be a sad memory for Wizards fans.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"I'm glad you're admitting you're wrong. Not the first time you're wrong, won't be the last."

Yeah, right. I never said Marbury wouldn't be bought out. I said guys being bought out of expensive long term contracts just so teams could be rid of them because they think they're "garbage" (your word) in order to "send a message" (your words) even "if it costs them some money" (your words) was rare.

There's been 1 this year. That's pretty damned rare. Some might even say very rare.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Darius Miles wasn't bought out. The league granted the Blazers a medical exception after he was declared physically unable to play after suffering what was then believed to be a career-ending injury, essentially voiding his contract. At which point, the Blazers waived him. When it turned out, less than 1 year later, that his career wasn't over and he could play, the exception was rescinded and his salary went right back on the Blazers' salary cap.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 25, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Being wrong keeps some people up at night. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 25, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

True fans want what's best for the team. This year is shot. Gil needs to shut it down until next year. I don't care what Jamison or anyone else says. They were losers for umpteen years and I watched. This year, I am watching and looking for development of McGee, Blatche, DMac, Jarvaris, and Nick. What good would it help for next year if Gil got hurt in some meaningless game. Im still watching the games.

Posted by: G-Man11 | February 25, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you, G-Man11. He needs to keep practicing but use the next 8 months to get allow his knee to fully heal and get in shape. Shut it down and don't play rec ball this summer. The only ball he should play is at the V Center in practice or at one of his famous shooting sessions. I'm still convinced that next year, we'll be decent with or without a top pick as long as we get a decent coach.

Posted by: original_mark | February 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Ok...I'll just say that he should play this year if he is ready. It has nothing to do with placating fans. It has to do with getting in there and working on getting back for next year. He can work out things without the pressure of what are hopefully real games next year - i.e. games that matter. These games would be glorified scrimmages for him and would give the franchise and himself a good indicator of where he really is. It doesn't have to be now, but if he practices for another few weeks he should get a few weeks of regular season play in as well. We're not talking 38 mins a night either. I'm sure he'll be looking at 15 mins max at first.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 25, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It would be good for Gil and the fans to get out on the court. For Gil, he can brush off all the cobwebs and get past some angst of coming back from such a long time off. For the fans, it would be good to see him out there and see how everyone else plays better with him on the court. It has been a horrible season and would be seen as almost a gift to see him (and Haywood) out there for a few games. It doesn't need to HIBACHI !!..just 20 minutes a night, spot-up and shoot, run the lanes, pass like crazy.

Posted by: leopsan | February 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, right. I never said Marbury wouldn't be bought out. I said guys being bought out of expensive long term contracts just so teams could be rid of them because they think they're "garbage" (your word) in order to "send a message" (your words) even "if it costs them some money" (your words) was rare.

There's been 1 this year. That's pretty damned rare. Some might even say very rare.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 11:57 PM

Oh, and Darius Miles wasn't bought out. The league granted the Blazers a medical exception after he was declared physically unable to play after suffering what was then believed to be a career-ending injury, essentially voiding his contract. At which point, the Blazers waived him. When it turned out, less than 1 year later, that his career wasn't over and he could play, the exception was rescinded and his salary went right back on the Blazers' salary cap.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 25, 2009 2:03 AM "

Yes, Steve Francis was also bought out because he was a problem child since he came to the league, and they paid him his 30 mil to go away.

Yes, Miles was bought out, but the Blazers tried to hide behind his injury as a reason why.

Why else would a team pay a guy to go away? Probably because the team has a young nucleus and they don't need a problem guy like Miles to be a bad influence.

That's why they got rid of him, and threatened to sue any team who picked him up. He has played 19 games this season for another team. If the Blazers thought he was a good guy for the team, they would have kept him since they have to pay him anyway, because he's obviously able to play again.

How convenient for you to omit facts in an attempt to justify your weak arguments.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 25, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

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