WASHINGTON (AP) -When Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas returned from surgery on his left knee to play Wednesday against Milwaukee, it was a surprise to many.
Two days later, the Wizards insist his return was expected.
Arenas, who missed 66 games, began the game shooting on Washington's practice court and arrived at the Wizards bench midway through the first quarter. He played 19 minutes and scored 17 points against the Bucks. His return came after weeks of speculation - much of it from Arenas himself - about if or when he would return this season.
Washington coach Eddie Jordan, battling a sinus infection, wasn't available to comment before Friday's game against Miami. His top assistant, Mike O'Koren, said the coaching staff wasn't surprised that Arenas made an entrance on Wednesday.
``We always said that when Gilbert was ready to play, he was going to play,'' O'Koren said. ``He felt ready the other day, and he came out and played. We didn't feel slighted at all.''
Arenas declined comment before the game.
Teammate Antawn Jamison wasn't shocked to see Arenas playing.
``Something in the back of my mind said he might come out there later,'' Jamison said. ``He didn't tell us, but we had an inkling. The locker room was a lot more quiet than it (is) normally. He had his headphones on. We know he was focused.''
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