Lue: George’s knee sprain ‘best-case scenario’

LOS ANGELES — LA Clippers star Paul George avoided torn ligaments in his sprained right knee and is not expected to require surgery.

While George will miss the remainder of the regular season and will not be reassessed for two to three weeks, the Clippers breathed a sigh of relief that he did not suffer a more significant injury when he landed awkwardly after colliding knee-to-knee with Oklahoma City’s Lu Dort in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 101-100 loss to the Thunder.

“He’s a little disappointed, as expected,” coach Ty Lue said before the Clippers faced the Thunder again Thursday night. “But I think we got the best case scenario as far as what we thought it could be. And so, being reevaluated in two, three weeks is something that we are looking forward to.”

George will need to let his knee heal before being reevaluated. Once he feels his knee is strong enough, he will need time to ramp up if he is able to return this postseason. The Clippers entered Thursday night’s game against Oklahoma City in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. However, they also were just a game and a half out of the seventh spot and the play-in tournament.

If the Clippers clinch a playoff berth, a potential George return in the first round is considered to be optimistic.

“His spirits are down,” Lue said. “But that’s to be expected when it’s late in the season and when you want to help your team. But we are gonna support him 100%.”

Lue said the Clippers will start guard Eric Gordon in George’s place for the remainder of the season.

And once again, the Clippers will have to try to win without one of their stars at the most important time of the season. Kawhi Leonard tore his right ACL in Game 4 of the second round against Utah in the 2021 playoffs. The Clippers still made it to the Western Conference finals before falling to Phoenix.

Last season, with Leonard out the entire year, George had to sit out the second play-in game, a loss to New Orleans, because he tested positive for COVID-19. That came after George had returned from a three-month absence due a torn ligament in his elbow.

“Oh, we’re ready,” Lue said of the Clippers playing without a star. “We did it last year as well. He played 32 games last year, so next-man-up mentality. I know you hear it all the time, but we’re definitely ready for the challenge. And we have a lot of guys in this locker room and we’re excited for the challenge.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button