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Shoulder Injury Won't Keep Arenas Out of Title Game
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/01/2001
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By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer


AP Photo
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Arizona guard Gilbert Arenas looked as if he could barely move Sunday because of a chest injury.

It'll take more than a bruise, however, to keep the team's leading scorer out of the national championship game against Duke on Monday night.

"I'm going to play no matter what," Arenas said.

He sat out the Wildcats' practice on Sunday at the Metrodome but said he planned to take a few shots to see how he felt. Even if his shooting is affected, he figures he can still help the team.

"There are other things you can do besides shoot," he said. "I only took seven shots yesterday, but I had six steals and seven assists, so there are other things you can do."

Coach Lute Olson played down the significance of the injury.

"He should be fine," Olson said. "He came back in the game and it didn't seem to hamper him."

The 19-year-old sophomore, who averages 16 points a game, said he was glad to have another day to recover.

"It will help me a lot," he said. "Right now I'm a little sore, but going into tomorrow I think I'll be 100 percent."

He was injured when he broke between 6-foot-8, 240-pound Andre Hutson and 6-9, 270-pound Zach Randolph to make a steal during the Wildcats' 21-3 run to start the second half. Randolph banged into Arenas as he picked off the ball.

"I thought he had separated his shoulder," Arizona assistant coach Jim Rosborough said.

Arenas managed to dunk at the end of the play, then left the game. He came back later but was in obvious pain after the game and unavailable for interviews.

He kept ice on the injury and was awakened for massage treatment periodically during the night.

Arenas isn't the only Arizona player hurting. Lute Walton is bothered by a sore right thumb he injured in practice earlier in the week

"If you're an athlete and competitive, things like this are going to happen and you've got to deal with it," Arenas said.

Arenas could be playing his final game for the Wildcats. He is considering leaving college for the NBA.

"Who knows?" he said. "I'm looking for the championship, and whatever happens after that happens."

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