WIZARDS INSIDER

Arenas Practices, But Backs Off His Target Return

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Injured guard Gilbert Arenas engaged in a spirited game of full-court one-on-one with rookie Nick Young prior to the Wizards' game against Charlotte last night. The three-time all-star said his surgically repaired left knee is gaining strength, but can't say when he will be ready to play.

Arenas had set next Sunday's game against New Orleans as a target but backed off that plan before last night's game.

"It may take me longer to get in shape," said Arenas, who has been out since Nov. 17. "That's why I'm out there with Nick, trying to get some rhythm back in my legs, get some cardio in and that's all I'm working on right now. Truthfully, it's hard to tell. If I really wanted to get out there, I can go play now but you're going to get two good minutes out of me. Right now, it's about trying to get in shape and get my body used to playing again."

Coach Eddie Jordan said he wasn't optimistic about seeing Arenas in uniform by next Sunday and paraphrased a memorable line offered by former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino, who once reminded reporters -- in entertaining fashion -- that his young team would not be able to bring in former legends such as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish to help them win.

"There's nobody coming in to save us right now," Jordan said. "Right now it's about who we have in that locker room."

UP NEXT Tomorrow at New Orleans8:00 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Tuesday at Houston8:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 UP NEXT Tomorrow at New Orleans8:00 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Tuesday at Houston8:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980


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