- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2008

Photos:Wizards get one back

Arenas, who on Thursday made his first start since Nov. 16 but scored only two points in 10 minutes of play, is getting treatment on his knee two to three times a day and is optimistic that with rest, his condition will improve.

The three-time All-Star, who in the last year has had two surgeries to repair a torn meniscus, suffered the latest injury in Monday’s Game 2 116-86 loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

He said he missed the two practices leading up to last night’s game and then received an MRI before Game 3 and learned of the bone bruise and pinched nerve.

“I said I would go out there, try to warm it up [pregame]. See how long I can last,” Arenas recalled. “I knew I was gonna play no more than 10, 15 minutes. While I was out there I was just trying to energize the crowd, get everybody excited about being home and get some people involved until my time was up.”

Arenas electrified the Verizon Center crowd when he was announced as a starter, but he left the game after six minutes with only two points and an assist and the score tied 10-10.

At the start of the second quarter, Arenas warmed up on an exercise bike and re-entered the game with 7:08 left in the second quarter with Washington up 30-22.

Arenas then limped off the court for good four minutes later.

“I think when I got subbed out and I sat for so long, [then] I was just trying ride the bike to keep my body still heated,” Arenas said. “But once I got back out there, a couple plays later I could feel the achiness and just couldn’t handle it anymore.”

Arenas, who didn’t practice yesterday, said he felt good this morning.

He said the only treatment he can receive for the bone bruise is a numbing shot, which he is hesitant to receive because of his fear of needles. The treatment for the pinched nerve is repeated massage, which elongates the tendon.

“It’s in the joints. It’s loose today. Its OK if I rest. If I go out full-speed it’s catching it,” Arenas said before adding that surgery isn’t an option. “No, no, no, no. I told them I’m not doing surgery anymore.”

Arenas said he hopes to start again tomorrow, but it could be another brief appearance depending on how he feels after resting a spell and trying to return to the game.

The guard isn’t putting himself at risk of further injury, Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. He and his staff will continue to monitor Arenas’ minutes, likely scaling his limit back to 20 to 25 minutes a game — if the knee cooperates.

“I am optimistic,” Jordan said. “He’s not damaging himself. He’s not doing any further damage structurally to his knee. It’s just, it’s sore and it gets tired. I do that drinking coffee in the morning. My elbow and my biceps. But in our evaluation, we’re not hurting him.”

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