Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas took one shot — a short jumper — at practice yesterday and was promptly ruled out of practice after the ball missed the rim by about a foot.

“I took a 15-footer, and it wasn’t even close,” said Arenas, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter of the Wizards’ 119-102 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. Arenas hurt his shoulder when he collided with Bucks forward Ruben Patterson.

Last night Arenas, third in the NBA in scoring (30.3 ppg), was planning to test out his shoulder again at Verizon Center. He was uncertain how many shots he would get up but expressed that if it felt the way it had in the morning he would not be shooting for long.

Asked whether he would be available tomorrow for the Wizards’ rematch with the Bucks, Arenas said he was “75 percent” certain he would be able to play.

“Hopefully it will feel better by then,” Arenas said. “I’ve still got 48 hours to go before we play. Right now it’s very painful.”

Arenas has yet to miss a game this season.

If he isn’t able to play, he will join a long list of injured players. Still out are Wizards big men Etan Thomas (ankle), Michael Ruffin (foot) and Darius Songaila (back). Center Brendan Haywood missed Saturday’s game but said following the game he expected to play tomorrow.

John N. Mitchell

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