Doc Rivers: Chris Paul ‘iffy’ to return Friday against Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers says Chris Paul is “iffy” to make his return to the court for Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Paul has missed the Clippers’ last 14 games after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. The point guard last played in a Jan. 16 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. While Paul has been medically cleared to play after practicing Tuesday and Wednesday, he nevertheless was held out of Thursday’s 123-113 loss.
And now, Rivers still isn’t ready to declare Paul good to go for Friday’s tilt with the Spurs, saying Paul, while “really close” to returning, doesn’t appear all the way ready.
“He looked good the last two days, but I thought he was a little hesitant,” Rivers said, via The Los Angeles Times. “I just don’t think we should play him. He’s got to feel 100%.”
“Tomorrow’s iffy,” Rivers said. “We won’t really practice on that one day, but that’ll get him closer. But we’ll see.”
As far as when Paul will return, Rivers wasn’t making any promises.
“He could play in the next couple of games, for sure,” said Rivers, whose team plays Charlotte on Sunday at home. “Maybe tomorrow, maybe…Maybe Sunday. I don’t know.”
The Clippers have gone 6-8 in Paul’s absence, although Thursday’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak that was preceded by a three-game slide. At 35-22, Los Angeles still is in good shape in the West with the fourth seed.
With that in mind, and with 25 games remaining in the regular season, there’s nothing wrong with the Clippers playing it safe with Paul. So long as the team continues to keep the ship afloat, it makes sense to be certain Paul is fully healthy for the regular season’s stretch run and the postseason.