Charlotte, N.C. Washington Wizards leading scorer Gilbert Arenas underwent two different surgical procedures on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss about three months.
Arenas had been experiencing swelling and soreness in the knee which he had surgically repaired late last season. After sitting out the past two games, Arenas did not travel with the team to Charlotte and underwent an MRI Wednesday morning, which revealed a cartilage tear.
"I'm just going to sit in my sorrows again. I have three months to (be) back positive again, but right now, it's hard," Arenas said in a posting on his blog Wednesday. "I need to start thinking about longevity in my career instead of just this injury right now. Every great player has missed at least one year."
Team physician Dr. Marc Connell repaired a partial tear of the meniscus and performed microfracture surgery on a non-weight bearing bone on the side of his knee.
"It's not as bad as the injury in April, but it's tough," wrote Arenas, who will begin rehabilitation next week.
"We expect Gilbert to make a full recovery," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said.
The 6-foot-4 Arenas is averaging 22.4 points. The Wizards won both games against struggling Portland and Philadelphia without Arenas and were on a five-game winning streak before Wednesday's game against Charlotte.
"We did win two games in convincing fashion without him, but it wasn't like it was the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs," Wizards center Brendan Haywood said. "Playing without Gilbert Arenas is going to hurt this team."
Arenas began the season by playing as though nothing was wrong, averaging about 40 minutes per game. But after Washington's third game, he said his knee felt stiff, "like a 5-pound weight is on it."
He then had excess fluid drained from the knee for the second time in three weeks on Nov. 7. He played the next night, a loss to New Jersey that dropped the Wizards to 0-4, but had a long conversation with Nets star Jason Kidd on the court after the final buzzer. Kidd offered advice about dealing with a return from surgery.
Arenas stayed in the lineup until missing Saturday's game against Portland, then sitting again Tuesday against Philadelphia. Without Arenas, coach Eddie Jordan said Antonio Daniels will continue to play point guard.
"Every team goes through it, and every team tries to find a way to win on a consistent basis," Jordan said. "We've gotten better at moving the ball."
This whole ordeal has all been a bit new to Arenas - a three-time All-Star - whose only previous significant injury in the NBA was an abdominal problem that limited him to 55 games in 2003-04. He finished third in the league in scoring average in 2006-07 at 28.4 points, but missed the last two weeks of the regular season and all of the playoffs after having knee surgery.
"Gilbert worked extremely hard this summer to be ready for the beginning of the regular season," Grunfeld said. "This is very unfortunate because he was starting to play at a high level prior to the surgery."
It's another blow to the Wizards, who lost Arenas and Caron Butler to season-ending injuries late last season. Etan Thomas is out this season after undergoing heart surgery, while Oleksiy Pecherov is recovering from a broken ankle.
Haywood said he wouldn't play against the Bobcats because of a sprained left ankle, leaving Washington with only nine healthy players.
"That's the business, man," Haywood said. "Life's not always fair. He's out right now and everybody is down about it. Everybody wishes him the best. Right now all we can do is pray for him and hope he has a speedy recovery."