Thursday , Apr , 05 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Arenas out 2-3 months following surgery

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas
underwent surgery Thursday to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee
and will be sidelined the next 2-to-3 months.

Arenas was hurt in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against Charlotte
when he collided with Bobcats swingman Gerald Wallace. Arenas had surgery
Thursday at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington.

“Gilbert was performing at an elite level,” said Wizards president of
basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that
this injury occurred, but being the competitor that he is, Gilbert will
approach his rehab regimen with the same work ethic that has made him one of
the league’s most outstanding performers. We expect him to make a full
recovery, and we know that his teammates will be up to the challenge to
respond in his absence.”

Although Arenas is expected to make a full recovery, his season is over unless
his teammates can make a deep run in the NBA playoffs. Should he be able to
return in two months, the Wizards would likely need to reach at least the
NBA Finals for him to play again this season.

The All-Star guard did not start for the first time this season on Wednesday
after being late to the team’s shootaround. When he finally took the floor,
Arenas had been in the game less than two minutes when he got hurt.

Arenas is averaging a team-best 28.4 points and 6.0 assists in 74 games this
season.

This is the second major injury for the Wizards, who lost forward Caron Butler
for six to eight weeks after he sustained a second metacarpal fracture in his
right hand. Butler, the third-leading scorer on the team at 19.1 ppg, suffered
the injury in an April 1 game against Milwaukee.

At 39-35, Washington is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, but the
Wizards have fallen behind Miami for the lead in the Southeast Division. The
Wizards have lost six of their last eight contests.

WAS