The Washington Times - October 2, 2009, 02:24PM

     RICHMOND — The Wizards just wrapped up Day 4 of training camp down here at VCU. Originally, they were scheduled for two practices, but after leading his team through such a positive morning session, Flip Saunders decided to give them the evening off.

     The media was only let into the gym for the last 15 minutes of practice, 15 minutes that consisted of a half-court shooting contest, but Gilbert Arenas moved fine, jumped fine, and Flip Saunders said he wasn’t limited in practice. His middle finger, the coach said, will be a “whole-year situation” as it could feel fine for a few days, it’ll get bumped and then flair up again. But otherwise, the guard is fine, Flip said.


     Javaris Crittenton was forced out of the tail end of practice after the double bone bruise in his left foot grew too painful for him to press on. He suffered the injury playing in a ProAm league in Atlanta late in the summer and took two weeks off from running then resumed it this week. He had pressed on during camp, going full speed, but the pain started creeping back and got worse today. He left the gym today visibly upset and wearing a walking boot. He was on his way to get an MRI done on it.

     Fabricio Oberto sat out the tail end of practice after his hamstring tightened up, but Saunders said there’s no real concern. He said some soreness or tightness in the limbs of the 34-year-old Oberto is to be expected considering he didn’t run this past summer while healing from his heart condition. So he’s still working his way into shape.

     Oberto still likely will be the first option at center off the bench with JaVale McGee the third option and used here in various situations. McGee has been struggling with some fatigue late in practices, which has caused him to lose some mental focus late, Saunders said.

     “That’s his biggest thing, you know, being able to fight through getting tired,” Saunders said of McGee. “As a young player, I’m sure he’s being overwhelmed a little bit. He’s had three coaches, he’s learning a new system. So what he learned last year, he’s learning all new things. Older players have seen it, from being on other teams or from being in the league, but younger players have to learn it.”

     McGee still will be called upon because the Wizards want to save Oberto some for the postseason, Saunders said.

     “You have the idea that he was going to be the guy that’s going to help us playoff time, so you don’t want to try to wear out a guy like that if you can avoid it.”

     But McGee still has some learning to do, which Saunders expects him to do both by watching and playing. There’s no chance the Wizards send him down to the D-League, however, because they believe he can still help them right now in certain situations.

     “He brings something to the team that a lot of other guys can’t,” Saunders said. “We’d like to get him into the type of shape that he’s like Anderson from Denver, where he’s a high-energy player that comes in to block shots, get rebounds. And he might only play for five minutes in a stint, but he can change the game because of his energy and his athleticism. That’s why we keep working with him.”