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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."

By Gene Wang  | November 2, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas, John Wall  
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Next: Andray Blatche focused on inside play


thought new policy was announcing starters 10 mins before game... is Hibachi secretly gonna trick Flip like he did EJ tonight?

Posted by: prescrunk | November 2, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Saunders said of Wall. "He's walking around on [the ankle], so I'm sure he'll play."

Straight out of the Wizards medical staff handbook...If he can walk he can play?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing, walking means he's able to play?...Considering he had a boot on and severe swelling? Where's the medical staff.

Posted by: washwiz | November 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It feels like there is more to Arena's injury than what is being said to the media. Is it just me?

Posted by: Shankar_thanu | November 2, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked Gilbert's not playing in this game. Just shocked. LOL. He was telling people a month before the season he didn't want to play home games. So here we go!

Posted by: heresthescoop | November 2, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I just have several questions for the Wizard organization, have they returned the Gilbert Arenas memorabilia to the Wizard's store yet or is it still boxed up waiting for a new destination? The Wizard organization led the mob mentality to lynch him last season so why would he want to sacrifice the rest of his career to please Ernie Grunfeld? If he does come back this season, he will just get hurt again. He doesn't want to be here. I for one, however, like to watch him play. He is great.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | November 2, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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