[UPDATE] — Gilbert Arenas, despite what we spelled out here below this update, was in the starting lineup and is playing for the Wizards. Keep an eye on Mike Jones’ Twitter feed during the game for live updates and explanation as it happens: @MikeJonesTWT.
MIAMI — Well, a healthy Gilbert Arenas lasted just seven games. The guard will miss tonight’s game against the Miami Heat with a strained left calf.
He now joins Antawn Jamison, Mike Miller, Javaris Crittenton and Mike James in the Wizards’ collection of injured players.
Flip Saunders will start a lineup of PG Randy Foye, SG DeShawn Stevenson, SF Caron Butler, PF Andray Blatche, C Brendan Haywood.
Arenas played in Sunday’s loss to the Suns, but sat out yesterday’s practice with what Saunders called soreness in his calf.
The guard, who missed all but two games last season, was on the court pre-game warming up with his teammates, then went back into the locker room to receive treatment. He was on the trainers table getting worked on when Saunders came in and checked on him to see how his calf felt.
A short time later, the team announced that he was out for the game.
“After working out if there’s any tightness, we’re not going to take a chance with it,” Saunders said pregame.
Tim Grover, who worked with Areans over the summer to return his thrice-surgically-repaired left knee back to full strength, flew down to Miami last night and is here checking on Areans. It’s a calf and not a knee that’s bothering Arenas, but being that it’s the same leg, so anything involving it raises concern. When I spoke to Grover this past summer, he said the biggest challenge for the Wizards staff would be getting Arenas to stick to the program that Grover had given him even once the season started, and if he didn’t, he could have some setbacks.
The Wizards will sport their fifth starting lineup in eight games, and Flip Saunders said he hasn’t had to shuffle lineups this much since his CBA days when players were often called up to the NBA.
“It will stretch my creativity,” the coach said.