WASHINGTON (AP) -Gilbert Arenas swears he is as healthy as ever.
He's certainly as talkative as ever.
The Washington Wizards' All-Star guard promised Friday he's prepared to go ``full speed ahead'' on his surgically repaired left knee when training camp opens next week and when the regular season opens next month.
``I've got to prove myself coming back from this injury. I've got to prove myself that I'm an MVP candidate in this league and I'm one of the best point guards in this league,'' Arenas said Friday.
``If I have to go out there and score 70 or 80, it's going to happen,'' he added, ``but I don't shoot for those goals. Goals of mine are always about winning.''
hutes tied to his waist.
He didn't wear a knee brace, and there was no sign of a hitch in his step.
It's all part of the grind he is sure will get him back to where he was before tearing his knee during a game in early April.
Remember: He finished third in the NBA with a 28.4-point scoring average, hit shot after shot in the closing seconds of periods and put up three 50-point games in a 30-day span last season.
After playing over the summer, Arenas said he got his confidence back. He says his left knee feels ``normal'' and he won't have any restraints.
Coach Eddie Jordan begged to differ.
``He's probably going to need some time off in training camp here and there,'' Jordan said. ``We'll watch him.''
Among Arenas' other observations Friday:
-He expects Washington to go further in the postseason.
``Anything less than going past the second round is a failure,'' Arenas said.
-Every Eastern Conference team was relieved not to have to face a healthy Wizards team in last season's playoffs.
``They didn't want to see us. We scored too easy,'' he said. ``When you have a team that scores too easy, what can you really do?''
-Arenas doesn't consider himself old enough to be a team leader; as far as he's concerned, leadership is about age or experience in the league.
``I go by years. I don't want some rookie coming in, just because he scored 30, to tell me what to do,'' he said.
So, for the time being, the 25-year-old Arenas will defer to the 32-year-old Antonio Daniels and 31-year-old Antawn Jamison.
How long does Arenas have to wait to take over as a team leader?
``Probably until one of them come off the team,'' he said, then paused and asked. ``Twenty-seven? Does that sound about right?''
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