According to a press release from the L.A. Clippers, guard Milos Teodosic is out indefinitely following what has been diagnosed as a plantar fascia injury in his left foot. The plantar fascia connects the heel to the toes on the bottom of the foot. Teodosic left the Clippers’ game Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns with an apparent foot injury, and had an MRI today in Los Angeles.
This may sound familiar, as plantar fasciitis is a relatively common condition among athletes. However, plantar fasciitis is a chronic condition, whereas this is simply an injury to the same ligament.
Fortunately for Teodosic and the Clippers, he avoided a ruptured achilles tendon, which seemed possible considering the nature of his injury. He started both of the Clippers’ first two games, averaging 5.5 points and 4 assists in 16 minutes per game while shooting 43% from beyond the arc.
A torn plantar fascia would normally keep a player out for 3-4 months, but the indefinite diagnosis perhaps indicates that Teodosic might not have suffered a full tear, and could perhaps return ahead of that timeline. He should return to full strength once he is fully recovered—with any luck, sometime in January.
In the meantime, Doc Rivers will lean more heavily on the other three veteran guards in his rotation: Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers, and Lou Williams. Austin Rivers will likely start as Williams stays in his role as a bench scorer. This injury will also mean increased opportunities for rookie guards Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell, who were out of the original healthy rotation. Evans is a point guard and a more natural replacement for Teodosic, but Thornwell appears to be ahead on the depth chart, so expect Doc to turn to him and delegate more point guard duties to the other guards.
Doc will also likely have to eliminate his usage of three-guard lineups, which frees up some small forward minutes—either for Thornwell, Sam Dekker, or Wesley Johnson. More playing time at small forward for Johnson could have a domino effect, freeing up some power forward minutes for Montrezl Harrell or Brice Johnson.
In short, the Clippers’ positional versatility gives Doc Rivers a variety of choices to replace Teodosic in the rotation.