How bad is the injury to Baron Davis' left ring finger? That's what the Clippers and Baron hope to find out from a hand specialist today. J.A. Adande of ESPN.com and Marc Spears of the Boston Globe are both reporting that Baron could require surgery, which would have him out 4-6 weeks, according to an NBA source. It's worth noting that the LA beat reporters did not mention the possibility of surgery, although Marcus Camby did seem ominous when he told Ramona Shelburne that he thought he'd be back before Baron.
Here's what we know - an X-ray on Friday revealed that the finger wasn't broken. However, an MRI done the same day was 'inconclusive'. And obviously it was sore enough that Baron and the Clippers decided he would not play in either game this weekend. The MRI would be looking for damage to softer tissues like ligaments and tendons in the finger. I'm guessing that they'll decide to do another MRI today to try to see something more 'conclusive'. At the very least, he's got a strained ligament. But if it's a ruptured tendon, then it won't heal by itself - he'll have to have the surgery.
This is bad news, but we knew that he was seeing a specialist today, so we knew that there was some concern. It's likely that the Clippers are just being very cautious with their prized acquisition and that he'll be OK. But it's time to adjust our anxiety level from "Gee, I hope that Baron gets used to playing with his new teammates in the pre-season" to "Gee, I hope he's ready by opening night." Bear in mind that the Clippers opening schedule is completely brutal. If Baron Davis misses the first few weeks of the season, it will be a disaster, no matter how excited you are about Mike Taylor.
By the way, it looks like Camby will miss the entire pre-season, as his sore heel continues to bother him. So both of the Clippers' major off-season additions are hurting, and are likely to play a total of one pre-season game between them. And there is of course no guarantee that they'll be ready for the opener. Add in the fact that they each have a history of injury troubles, and it's all very foreboding.