By Ni Yinbin | 2013-1-1 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
THE Shanghai Sharks will begin the New Year without Gilbert Arenas.
The former NBA star is heading back to the United States to receive treatment on his groin after missing out on most of the games with nagging injuries, the player said.
The Sharks confirmed "Agent Zero's" trip but did not say when he would be back in Shanghai. But club insiders suggested that the 30-year-old was expected to see his doctor in New York and return to Shanghai for rehabilitation sometime this month itself.
"Happy New Year. I'm going to New York for a few days to get treatment on my groin," Arenas wrote on his microblog at sina.com yesterday. "I wasn't 100 percent when I came back and I pulled another groin muscle.
"It's not really bad just need American meds to speed up the recovery time."
The Sharks confirmed Arenas had applied for the medical trip to the US but said his return would depend on the rehabilitation.
"We are not very much sure about Arenas's precise schedule but he did not fully recover from his injury and currently he is not in a shape to play," said Zhang Chi, deputy manager and spokesman of the team.
"His comeback will depend on the progress from the treatment and rehabilitation."
The 30-year-old former NBA All-Star point guard only made four appearances in the last 15 CBA games with an average of 9.8 points and 2.8 assists.
With D.J. White now the only foreign player with the Sharks, it will be an Herculean task for the team from its current 16th place in the 17-team league.
Meanwhile, the Shanxi Brave Dragons will be without their ace player Marcus Williams after he was banned for the rest of the season for testing positive for marijuana, the CBA said.
The 26-year-old failed the drug test last month. While Williams was banned for six months, his team, the Brave Dragons, and coach Zhang Degui were fined 10,000 and 5,000 yuan respectively.
The Brave Dragons is currently third in the league behind the defending champions Beijing Ducks and Yi Jianlian's Guangdong Southern Tigers.