'Cleared to Play'

For what it's worth, the Clippers have started using a different term to describe Elton Brand's status.  Both Joe Stevens in the Press Telegram and Jonathan Abrams in the LA Times described Brand as 'medically cleared to play', meaning that the medical staff have declared his Achilles tendon 100% healthy.  

It remains to be seen how that translates into minutes in an NBA game.  New terminology aside, it's been pretty clear that EB himself has felt strong enough to play for a while.  MDsr has been ultra-conservative, using the ever-popular 'no reason to take risks' as the politically-correct code for saying, 'We'd rather lose a few more games.'  But even MDsr is softening, it would seem.

First of all, he is totally cleared to play, totally healed, no issues.  It's just a matter of conditioning. So it's not like we're worried about him going out there and getting injured.  The only thing I have to worry about, as far as an injury, would be if I throw him out there, play him too long and maybe he pulls a hamstring. So whatever we decide to do, we'll keep in short spurts and just build it up.

Having played at home against the Grizzlies Saturday, and with another home game tonight against the Mavs, Sunday was a relatively rare off day with no travel.  Meaning that the Clippers had a chance to hold a full practice.  With the possible exception of new addition Marcus Williams, no one was happier about the practice time than Brand.  And MDsr responded by giving the team the even rarer day off.  But Brand was hard at work at the gym, trying to get himself into game shape.  Assuming Sunday went well, I suppose it's possible that he could make a brief appearance tonight.  Although they've continued to talk about the 'final 6-8 games' (8 being Wednesday night in Seattle), if in fact he's medically sound, and it's just a matter of getting him up to game speed and in game condition, it would sure seem to make a lot of sense to start that process by giving him some minutes, however few, and letting him make his season debut in front of the home crowd.

Whether it's tonight or later this week, it looks like the Generic era will finally come to a close.

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