Gilbert Arenas leaves loss with groin strain

WASHINGTON -- In his first game at the Verizon Center in more than nine months, Gilbert Arenas was gone in a flash.

Two nights after he admitted faking a left knee injury, Arenas played just three minutes before exiting the Washington Wizards' 96-88 preseason loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night with a strained right groin.

Arenas didn't start but made the most of his brief return.

He didn't attempt a shot but had three steals, a rebound, an assist and a blocked shot. Arenas teamed with John Wall on some neat passes in his first home game since being suspended for bringing guns to the locker room.

"He was good while he was in there," Washington coach Flip Saunders said.

Arenas was gone by the time the locker room was open, and Saunders wasn't terribly vocal in defending him.

Saunders fined Arenas for the fake injury Tuesday. Before Thursday's game, he wasn't eager to revisit the incident.

"That's over with. I'm not going to get into it," Saunders said. "I've done enough."

Saunders contended that Arenas had been a loyal player during training camp.

"He's been with us. Whatever we've asked him to do, he's basically done," Saunders said.

After the game, Saunders said he had no clue how much time Arenas might miss, nor did he any express any reaction when asked about the abrupt exit.

Arenas, who hadn't played a home game since Jan. 2, before his 50-game suspension and felony conviction, entered with 7:05 to play in the first quarter to tepid applause from the sparse home crowd and seemed to savor playing with Wall before asking out of the game three minutes later.

Saunders decided to team Nick Young -- who played well Tuesday in Arenas' place -- with Wall, the overall No. 1 draft choice. Saunders said he wasn't penalizing Arenas.

"Nick played really good and I wanted to reward him for how he played," Saunders said.

Drew Gooden led Milwaukee (3-1) with 25 points, while Carlos Delfino had 19.

Andray Blatche led Washington (3-2) with 17 points and Wall had 15 points and 11 assists in 38 minutes.

Wall and Arenas seemed to play well in their brief time together.

"We have a great time playing every time we're on the court," Wall said. "I hope he gets back as quick as possible [but] I hope he takes his time."

Bucks coach Scott Skiles didn't play Andrew Bogut, who has yet to appear in the preseason. Bogut has recovered from a gruesome fall in a game last season when he dislocated his elbow, sprained his wrist and broke his hand.

Skiles said Bogut was ready to play and should appear Saturday in Memphis, and while he'd like to limit his center's minutes, he doesn't think he's injury-prone.

"He's no more likely to get hurt than anyone on our team," Skiles said.

Game notes
Washington was without F Al Thornton (left ankle) and F/C Sean Marks (hamstring). Milwaukee didn't dress F Jon Brockman (left ankle), G/F John Salmons (right knee) and F Corey Maggette (left ankle). ... Skiles and Bucks rookie F Larry Sanders were both assessed technical fouls. ... The Wizards waived G Kevin Palmer.