WASHINGTON (AP) -Gilbert Arenas was cleared to participate in light, non-contact drills by the Washington Wizards on Monday, a step forward in his return from left knee surgery.
Arenas has said he hopes to return to the Wizards in the coming weeks. The team has not said when he can return to full-contact practice.
Another injured Wizards player, center Etan Thomas, was cleared to practice for the first time since he had open-heart surgery in October. No timetable has been set for him to play in a game.
After a routine preseason physical, Thomas was told surgery would be a good idea because of a leaky aortic valve. The biggest impediment to his return to practice had been concern over how much pounding he could take on his sternum, which was broken during the 4 1/2-hour operation.
Arenas, third in the NBA in scoring in 2006-07, injured his left knee late last season and needed surgery. He returned to action at the start of this season, but needed another operation in November.
The Wizards (25-27) return from the All-Star break Tuesday night at home against the New York Knicks.

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