Arenas, Haywood Unlikely to Return

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, March 9 -- With each passing day, it's becoming increasingly unlikely that Wizards fans are going to see Gilbert Arenas and/or Brendan Haywood in uniform before the regular season ends April 15 at Boston.

Following Monday's game at Minnesota, the Wizards have 18 games left and there is no indication that either Arenas, who has missed the entire season because of a left knee injury that has plagued him since April 2007, or Haywood, who has been out since injuring his right wrist during the last week of training camp, is close to seeing game action.

Arenas has practiced some since the all-star break concluded Feb. 17, but has not made recent road trips, including the four-gamer that concluded Monday night. The three-time all-star has repeatedly said that he will not play until the knee, which has undergone three surgical procedures, is "100 percent."

According to sources, team president Ernie Grunfeld would prefer to see both veterans back before the season ends as long as they are medically cleared, but at least one Wizard, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he doesn't expect to see Arenas again until training camp opens in October.

"I don't think he's coming back," the player said. "I just don't see it."

Interim coach Ed Tapscott has repeatedly said that the possible return of either player will be determined solely by the medical staff.

"As I've said: the doctors and their health will determine what they do," Tapscott said. "As the doctors and team management get together, they will make that determination."

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