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Flip Saunders uncertain if Gilbert Arenas will play season opener

Gilbert Arenas missed his second day of practice on Monday with soreness right ankle and Coach Flip Saunders said he was unsure if he would have the three-time all-star available for the season opener on Thursday in Orlando. Arenas first developed the injury during training camp. He was forced to miss the last two days, including an open scrimmage, before returning to play the first three preseason games.

Arenas aggravated the ankle injury last Friday when he returned after missing the previous week with a strained right groin. "He's got soreness in his ankle, a little bit of fluid," Saunders said. "It's kind of day to day. Kind of wait to see how it is."

When asked what his "gut" told him about Thursday, Saunders joked, "We're going down there. We're going down there Tuesday, playing Thursday."

Pressed specifically about Arenas, Saunders said, "I have no idea if he's going to be ready or not ready."

Arenas played just three minutes in the last four preseason games, so Saunders said not having Arenas doesn't make it any tougher on the team to prepare for the Magic. "Not really, we've prepared, we've played a lot without him," Saunders said. "So, we'd love to have him. If we don't have him, I still think we can go out there and be effective."

Saunders added that if Arenas were unavailable, the team would have to compensate for his absence with Al Thornton, Kirk Hinrich and John Wall. Thornton has performed well the past few practices, after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Thornton would start in Arenas's stead, and he appeared to have recovered on Monday, when he engaged in a post-practice dunk contest with Wall, Nick Young and Lester Hudson. He pulled some spectacular windmills and reverse dunks.

"I think now, Al's back. He's healthy. Al's played extremely well the last week, got his legs under him from when he was hurt," Saunders said.

Arenas has not spoken to reporters since apologizing for lying about "faking an injury" nearly two weeks ago. He was stopped before he made it to the locker room after practice. Asked how he was doing with the injuries, Arenas sang with a high-pitched voice, "You'll see."

Saunders also explained that the Wizards were leaving a day earlier than usual in preparation for the season opener largely because of the Washington International Horse Show that will be here through Sunday. "With the horse show here, it's kind of a pain in the butt to kind of be around here. Not only from a standpoint of how it smells, but just even traffic and everything else," Saunders said with a laugh. "I just thought it would be a better concentrated effort for us. Plus, it's not a short trip down there, even though it's Orlando. You get down there practice, rest, have a good practice the next day and kind of have a better bonding type situation."

By Michael Lee  | October 25, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
 
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Comments

GO WIZARDS!!!!!

Posted by: hlwunlimited1 | October 25, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

i'm pumped

Posted by: jefferu | October 25, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Cant beat Orlando without Gil and probably still wont win unless he's fully healthy. He just cant stay healthy for some reason

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Isn't karma a kick in the pants?

Gilby fakes an injury a couple weeks back and now he really has one.

This may end up being a blessing in disguise though if Thornton gets the start at small forward. His no-nonsense attitude will be needed against the likes of Brandon Bass and Marvin Williams this week.

I say the Wizards come back home 1-1 ready to devour the Sixers on Tuesday... that sets up very interesting back-to-back @ NY and vs CLE.

Posted by: elfreako | October 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I expect Orlando to beat the Wiz pretty handily, Arenas or no Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

:::: "Coach Flip Saunders said he was unsure if he would have the three-time all-star available for the season opener on Thursday in Orlando".------------- We just add that on to the list of all the other things Flip is unaware of. No big deal.
In Grunfeld We Trust.. Not.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 25, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think we matchup really well with Orlando, espically if we are fully healthy when Howard gets back & Dray is in shape

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I expect Orlando to beat the Wiz pretty handily, Arenas or no Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Highly concur. The Magic is a veteran team, looking to stay ahead of Miami by thrashing lesser teams.
Plus, Orlando was running over teams in the pre-season, which means their back-ups are that much better than just about anyone else's.
Probably the toughest season opening test the Wiz could face. If they don't get blown out, they'll have played an excellent game.

Posted by: creativefunk | October 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course any NBA follower will expect the Magic to beat the upstart Wizards handily. But what I am looking for is some competitive basketball; some effort plays and players giving their best. If we do that, we can win some games because there are worse teams than us (Cleveland, NJ, NY, Toronto). At the very least, we can expect a better season than the last one.

Posted by: tundey | October 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I should be interesting for a quarter or two. Probably will be a good glimpse into our season. Hopefully we will at least be fun to watch before Orlando get's down to business..

Gil or not Gil this is a mismatch of epic proportions..

Posted by: kevenjones | October 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It will be like most Wiz games this season against high-level teams.

John Wall will be one of the top players on the floor and the prospect out there you'd want the most and the Wiz will lose by 12-15.

Posted by: BigWesGoingToTakeA | October 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

that part when arenas says in a high pitched voice: "you'll see"

is that an indication of anothe calamity in the works by Arenas?...if so its old now.

Wall
Hinrich
Thornton
Blatche
Yi

a very good defensive unit and i dont think orlando will beat us as some others think.

it will be a good game, and dont be suprised if we dont sneak one out

Posted by: mrhney03 | October 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

What if Wall is able to take Jameer's lunch money. Jut flat out outplay him at the point guard position on both ends of the floor. It isn't a stretch in my book that John Wall could send Nelson home to mommy crying cause his lunch box got taken.

To me that is the key as to whether the Wizards can upset Orlando in game one.

Shutdown Jameer and it disrupts there whole flow.

Look for a Wizards win and not an Orlando thrashing.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

i'm most interested in how Mcgee plays.

Posted by: divi3 | October 25, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

and there's more chance Gil suits up for the Magic than for us. I dont believe these injury claims, but that's just me

Posted by: divi3 | October 25, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse


I don't know what to think about Arenas' ankle since I don't trust him or the Wizards to be honest about this sort of thing. Time will tell if he's actually on the trading block and the Wizards are just trying to make sure no freak injuries occur between now and any trade negotiations in the works.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | October 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Number one. Jameer Nelson will not, and I repeat, will not be able to keep John Wall from doing anything on the floor.

John Wall has the talent to totally disrupt Nelson and at the same time keep our team in flow.

Again, Upset. Wizards Over Majic.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 25, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Headlines, Jameer Nelson rendered ineffective by play of Wall and Wizards win with Arenas and Wall controlling flow of game.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 25, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this enough. Can't someone force a mental evaluation of Arenas? At some point, they need to figure out how to get out of as much of this salary as possible - but salary or no, get him off this team. If needed put him on the injured list and never let him see a court, a practice, a teammate, a hot dog vendor, or staff member again until he agrees to a reasonable buy-out.

Posted by: pkiernan | October 25, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Arenas is not in the mood to play basketball at this point.
He might pay several 50,000's for not acting right.
I am not expecting any thing positive from that retarded fool.
I am sorry to those of you who are expecting miracle from a physicaly and mentaly damaged previous all star who is suffering from dystimia( chronic depresion).

Posted by: gtefferra | October 25, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Geeez, talk about injury prone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Get Arenas away from this team -- anyone associated with team -- the sooner the better. He is NOT the three-time all-star. He is messed up in the head, suffering from major issues. Reading between the lines, Saunders is fed up with Arenas, but has adopted a very nonchalant public stance because he so desperately wants to trade this guy. If he rails him in public, it will never happen... But the Catch 22 is this, no team will take a shot (bad pun, whoops) at Arenas, unless he actually proves he can still play. What a terrible contract. That alone should get Grunfeld fired. What a hideous deal that has hamstrung this franchise. Imagine if we had rid ourselves of this joker last year?...
But, I agree, if he's bad news for the team, sit him and make him arrange for a buyout. The Wizards need to dictate what he does -- not him. I am sick of Arenas' me-first self-centered act. The dude needs help -- and it aint with getting his ankle taped.

Posted by: Bozeman1 | October 25, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Whudabout Flip just askin the medical staff bout' Gill's ankle and giving an informed opinion from his med staff, instead of saying I dunno', WTF.

Injury prone, get him outa' here, the freaks come at night, but myself, I am 24/7.

Holla!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 25, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Agent ZERO. ARENAS is all over that!

Let's focus on the rest of the team media outlet. Let GA take care of GA and the other fourteen play ball for real.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 25, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards can win this year if Arenas is healthy and producing. If this becomes another season of him screwing around, then they might as well ship him out. I still think the way the Wizard management handled the situation last year is sticking in his craw. Personally I think Grunfeld acted like a jackass.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 25, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards can win this year if Arenas is healthy and producing. If this becomes another season of him screwing around, then they might as well ship him out. I still think the way the Wizard management handled the situation last year is sticking in his craw. Personally I think Grunfeld acted like a jackass.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 25, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse "

Can win what?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"...it's kind of a pain in the butt to kind of be around here. Not only from a standpoint of how it smells..." And what does he think the fans thought of last season's performance ?

Posted by: renostaging2005 | October 26, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Arenas' fake knee injury is spreading all over his body.

Posted by: randysbailin | October 26, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Has anybody caught on to what Arenas is doing with his so called "injuries"? It is simple--he wants out of D.C. This is typical B.S. he has been doing for years--he learned NOTHING from his recent screw up and time in a halfway house. It's time that Leonsis--NOT Ernie--sit down with Arenass and read him the riot act--guys like him don't respond to nice nice--they respond to a BUTT kicking. They should stop this coddling and chew him out!!! Enough already--he is poison--another Haynesworth type.

Posted by: vergens2 | October 26, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Gill I believe in you. Let's show your god giving talent.

Posted by: maejude | October 26, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Does someone know something that the rest of us don't. The coach is either a liar or he is not. He says Gil has fluid on his ankle. That is not like saying Gil feels his ankle is sore. Fluid on the ankle is something observable. If he is a little nicked, then why all the hating. If he is not hurt, then Saunders is doing the same thing he said he was upset at GA for; lying. Should we now want to run Saunders out of town? I'm willing to bet Gil is nicked and wants to be on the floor with this team. It is disappointing, but it is wrong to just dump on him with no reason. I dumped on him when he broke the law, but he paid the price, now let this team go out and enjoy this season. Not a fan here will see the Wizards replace him with equal talent or effort.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 26, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

"Does someone know something that the rest of us don't. The coach is either a liar or he is not. He says Gil has fluid on his ankle. That is not like saying Gil feels his ankle is sore. Fluid on the ankle is something observable. If he is a little nicked, then why all the hating. If he is not hurt, then Saunders is doing the same thing he said he was upset at GA for; lying. Should we now want to run Saunders out of town?"Posted by: 1bmffwb

OK LOL you completely lost me.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 26, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't care how badly Wall outplays Nelson, the Magic will ROLL over the Wiz. Their bigs (ever heard of a guy named Dwight Howard?) are just too good for our guys to match and you know they will get ALL the calls.

Posted by: largetony86 | October 26, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

People people NOBODY WHO'S SOMEBODY WILL COME TO THE WIZ!

Soon as Wall contract is up he will be gone too. Unless he gets an Arenas contract.
You have to spend to win days..

Oh for all you Idoit Arenas haters the truth is he could spot you 20 with his injuries and still beat you buy 12.

Posted by: shamken | October 26, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Favre played on Sunday w/ a broken ankle. Arenas isn't playing because of fluid? Drain it, be a man and play. Pay me the kind of coin he earns for a single game and I'd play on one leg....

Posted by: randysbailin | October 26, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards need to dictate what he does -- not him

That ship sailed long ago. Gilbert is owed $80mill. Period. That's his money the franchise agreed to pay him, they cant dictate anything to him so long as he's showing up to practice and making any sort of effort to be ready to play.

For all we know, everytime EG speaks to Gil, Arenas responds "Kiss my azz, fat man."

Seriously, who knows how bad it could be behind the scenes.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

and btw, he deserves every single penny he is owed. All the legal precedent is already there, he didnt do anything that could get the contract voided and it's not his fault they offered him that deal.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Arenas has not spoken to reporters since apologizing for lying about "faking an injury" nearly two weeks ago. He was stopped before he made it to the locker room after practice. Asked how he was doing with the injuries, Arenas sang with a high-pitched voice, "You'll see."

What does that mean? Does it mean he's going to pull another stunt? What is wrong with this guy? I say buy him out and trade him!

Posted by: carterm1 | October 26, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

OK LOL you completely lost me.

Posted by: Samson151
-----------------------------------------

How so? I understand him completely.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 26, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Favre played on Sunday w/ a broken ankle. Arenas isn't playing because of fluid? Drain it, be a man and play. Pay me the kind of coin he earns for a single game and I'd play on one leg....

Posted by: randysbailin | October 26, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

And he should have been standing on the sideline!!

Posted by: NewManagement | October 26, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'd never thought i'd be saying this; but their is something seriously wrong with Gilbert Arenas mentally speaking, Arenas need's to seek some sort of counseling he need's to get help as soon as possible i think Arenas dissruptive childhood has scarred him for life no one does the thing's he's done over the past year unless he's mentally unbalanced,yes i think he wants off the team but i don't think that will solve what's going on in his head, i for one hope he gets some help.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 26, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

how is Gil sitting out with injury a sign of serious mental issues? I think Flip saying there is fluid bulidup in the ankle definitely points to a legit injury. If he's not really hurt then why did Flip say there was fluid in the ankle?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

How so? I understand him completely.

Posted by: sagaliba

You do? Please explain to me what's going on with him.

Posted by: carterm1 | October 26, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@DLTS2041....Having Gilbert available will make no difference...the team refuses to be disciplined and run plays...nothing but jump shots in the second half as the announcers noted....

Blatche is over hyped...as they said he might be a good player with veteran players but he is not the go to guy..Until he can put the ball on the floor he will continue to be just a jump shooter...

McGee looks like he did 2 years ago...he and Blatche are the big players but certainly don't play big..no one wants to do the dirty work and rebound...but that's been no surprise for the past 10 years at least...

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 28, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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