Arenas Inching Toward a Return

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

While Gilbert Arenas has not yet been cleared to practice or play in games, he is making steady progress, according to Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott.

When the team got back together following the four-day all-star break on Monday night, Arenas was on the court participating in shooting drills and other non-contact activity.

The three-time all-star, who has appeared in 13 regular season games since originally injuring his left knee during a game on April 4, 2007, has responded well to treatment he received while visiting a knee specialist in Miami during the last week of January.

That is one reason why team insiders believe that he, along with center Brendan Haywood, will likely return before the end of the regular season.

"Mainly shooting around," Tapscott said of what Arenas has been doing during practice. "What we call breakdown shooting, where it's not just shooting, there's a little movement as well. Just ramping up slowly as part of the rehab process to see what kind of stress the knee can take."

Tapscott said it will entirely be up to the team's medical staff to determine when Arenas will be cleared to return to practice and eventually, to games. Following last night's game against Minnesota, the Wizards have 28 games left in the season.

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