Saunders: Arenas ruled out of home opener, Wall will play
Washington Wizards Coach Flip Saunders ruled out veteran guard Gilbert Arenas from tonight's home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers because of strained tendon in his right ankle but said rookie point guard John Wall, who sprained his right ankle on Saturday night in a 99-95 loss to Atlanta, will play.
This will be the third straight game Arenas has missed because of the tendon that also bothered him for much of the preseason.
"He won't play tonight," Saunders said shortly before the morning shootaround at the Verizon Center auxiliary court. According to beat writer Michael Lee, Arenas's follow-up MRI yesterday showed improvement over the first one, and he can increase his activities.
The prognosis was significantly more encouraging for Wall, who had a game-high 28 points in addition to nine assists and five rebounds against the Hawks. Wall rolled his ankle late in the third quarter of that game, when he was fouled while driving to the basket before passing to Yi Jianlian.
Wall attempted to play through the discomfort and came back to make a pair of foul shots to complete 12 points in a row for the Wizards (0-2), but shortly thereafter the ankle began to swell. The No. 1 overall draft choice was in a walking boot following the game, although he appeared in good spirits this morning before practice.
"I think he's okay," Saunders said of Wall. "He's walking around on [the ankle], so I'm sure he'll play."
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