WASHINGTON (AP) -Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was pleased after his first full-contact practice in 3 1/2 months on Tuesday.
``It felt good. I was surprised about my wind - I wasn't as tired as I thought I was going to be,'' the three-time All-Star said. ``I was just excited to get out there and play basketball. ... My knee is fine so far. We'll see how it acts tomorrow after a day of rest.''
Coach Eddie Jordan did change the rules somewhat for his star point guard, who hasn't played since having knee surgery Nov. 21. During 4-on-4 scrimmages, teammates were not allowed to set picks and screens on Arenas.
``When we do get into contact, we want to allow him to see where the contact is coming from,'' Jordan said. ``So we limited back screens and pick-and-roll screens when he can't see it. We want him to react to seeing a screen coming, and as we move along we will get him in more normal situations. I thought he handled it well.''
There remains no timetable for Arenas' return to the lineup, although he said is targeting the West Coast road trip that begins March 25.
``It's good for him to finally be out there,'' forward Antawn Jamison said. ``He is moving around and doing the things you are accustomed to seeing from Gilbert.''
Center Etan Thomas, who has yet to play this season after undergoing open heart surgery in October, also returned to full-contact practice after taking the past couple of days off. DeShawn Stevenson (knee) and Roger Mason (hamstring) missed practice, but both are expected to play Wednesday against Orlando. All-Star forward Caron Butler remains out with a hip injury.
A win Wednesday will put the Wizards at .500 for the first time since Feb. 8.
``They are still playing great basketball without me and Caron,'' Arenas said. ``And that shows a lot.''
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