Two months ago during the press conference celebrating his new 6 year, $111 million dollar contract, Gilbert Arenas made some large promises to owner Abe Pollin, President Ernie Grunfeld, and head coach Eddie Jordan. He said once August arrived, he would never take a day off, and he would push himself and the team back to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately for Arenas and the Wizards, that plan had a bit of a setback this morning.
Grunfeld announced that guard Gilbert Arenas had an arthroscopic lavage (washout) procedure performed on his left knee this morning. The procedure was performed by Wizards Team Physician Dr. Marc Connell at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC.
This is the same knee that caused Arenas to miss 69 games and part of the playoffs last season. He also missed the entire 2007 playoffs with this same knee.
In a press release from the Wizards, Connell offered a brief description on why this surgery was necessary.
“Gilbert worked extremely hard over the summer and we know how much he’s looking forward to returning to help the team. However, our team has proven its resiliency in dealing with injuries in the past and we’re approaching the start of training camp with confidence that they will once again compete at a high level until Gilbert’s return.
“After Gilbert’s normal course of rehabilitation was ramped up, he experienced some swelling and discomfort in his knee. A subsequent MRI showed that the knee is structurally sound. The decision was made to perform an arthroscopic lavage procedure, during which a moderate amount of debris was removed after saline solution was washed through the knee. The presence of debris is common with the nature of his previous injury. This was a proactive procedure that will enhance his rehabilitation process.”
Despite this recent setback, Grunfeld remains optimistic about not only Arenas’ return, but how the team will play in his absence.
This news derailed what has been quite summer for Arenas. Aside from the contract, he toured China and the Philippines marketing his new Agent Zero basketball shoe, he was asked to do a reality show, and just this past weekend, he and Magic Johnson, along with Freddic Mac, hosted a Hoops for the Homeless event at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.
Despite a setback today, Arenas has high hopes for his return this fall.
“I just had some floating debris in there that was slowing me down,” Arenas told the Washington Post. ”It was irritating the knee so we decided to go in there and clean it out. This should actually allow me to come back faster.”
This injury leaves the Wizards with just two point guards on the roster: 11 year veteran Antonio Daniels, who is coming off a career high year that saw him average eight points and four assists, and recently signed free agent Dee Brown.
Point guard Jonathan Wallace from Georgetown and Dontaye Draper 5-11 from Charleston were on the Wizards’ summer league roster, but were not offered contracts.
Daniels, Brown and the rest of Arenas’ teammates will begin training camp in less than two weeks in Richmond, Virginia. Camp will be from September 27th to October 3rd and it will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Arenas, who will begin rehabilitation immediately, told the Washington Post that he plans to return to the court in December. Everyone from the fans to the owner is hoping that will be time Arenas makes good on his promise to lead the Wizards back to the playoffs.