Arenas has knee drained, misses Wizards' practice again

WASHINGTON -- Even if Gilbert Arenas is having problems with
his left knee, Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan isn't quite
ready to worry.

Arenas' surgically repaired knee was drained for the second time
in three weeks Wednesday, forcing him to miss practice for a third
consecutive day. Still, Jordan expects Arenas to play against New
Jersey on Thursday night.

"There's no red flags," Jordan said. "He just has to keep
getting through his therapy, his rehab, and getting some rest when
he can."

Asked how long it might be until Arenas is 100 percent healthy,
the coach said: "We don't know how long it's going to take. You
know, Gil's pretty darn good at whatever percent he's at, anyway."

Arenas said his knee felt stiff after Washington's last game, a
94-82 loss to Orlando on Saturday that dropped the Wizards to 0-3.
He hasn't practiced since.

"It feels like a 5-pound weight is on it," Arenas said that
night, adding he thought he might need to have fluid drained. His
left knee also was drained of excess fluid Oct. 17.

Arenas did not speak to reporters Wednesday, but he did refer to
the knee on his blog.

"I have to get my knee drained and get the fluid out so I can
be ready for the next 15 days. I guess it's like a 15-day period
after I drain my knee that I'm at 100 percent," the blog says.
"There's no pain, it's just stiffness."

Arenas spoke Saturday about tailing off in what was his first
set of back-to-back games since hurting his knee in April.

"That's where I thought he wasn't his explosive self," Jordan
said. "That's the only game."

Arenas made his first three shots against Orlando, then went
2-for-12 the rest of the way. He shot 0-for-4 on 3-pointers that
night, making him 1-for-17 from beyond the arc this season. Arenas
is shooting 33 percent overall.

"I'm just shooting really bad right now," his blog says, "but
I'll get the mojo back in a minute."

The Wizards began the season by playing three games in four
nights, and they have another such stretch now: Thursday's game is
followed by one at home against Denver on Friday, then a game at
Atlanta on Sunday.

Arenas went five days without playing in an exhibition game
after his knee was drained last month. But Wizards captain Antawn Jamison said Arenas told him he'll be ready to play Thursday.

"From my understanding, he said he was mentally ready and
physically he felt good," Jamison said. "So we'll see tomorrow."

Added teammate DeShawn Stevenson: "Gil's a gamer. He can sit
out five games and come out and play the way he plays. ... He's
going to be all right."

The Wizards probably could use Arenas against the Nets. New
Jersey won all four of the teams' meetings last season, with Nets
point guard Jason Kidd averaging a double-double in those games.

Plus, there's this: Washington is shooting an NBA-worst 35.4
percent so far -- only one other team, the Chicago Bulls, is under
40 percent -- and averaging only 91.7 points, a decrease of more
than 12 points from last season's output.

"It's the fourth game of the season," Jamison said, "but it's
a big game."

All of which is why it would have been preferable to have Arenas
practicing this week.

"It would have been nice to get some continuity, some
chemistry, to get the feel with Gil out there," Jamison said.
"But the thing with Gil is, he's a special talent, especially on
the offensive end. ... We've just got to find a way to get it