The Clippers will be without Paul George for at least their next several games. The team announced on Saturday that George had suffered a ligament tear in his right elbow and would be reevaluated in 3-4 weeks.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first broke the news, and the team confirmed it shortly afterwards in a press release.
The Clippers say Paul George will be reevaluated in 3-4 weeks because of an elbow injury. pic.twitter.com/kBcrfrvaly— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) December 25, 2021
George sprained elbow on Dec. 6, rested and rehabbed for 2 weeks and returned to play vs. Spurs and Kings this week. After he felt pain, testing revealed tear in ulnar collateral ligament. They'll see how elbow responds to rest in next 3-to-4 weeks before determining next steps. https://t.co/7JezhozHnx— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 25, 2021
A three-week absence would see George miss the next 12-13 games, while four would have him out for at least 15. Reevaluated also does not mean “immediately return,” so there is always the chance that George could take even longer. We just won’t know for sure for a few more weeks, but Woj’s update on ESPN was not exactly encouraging:
"The team will re-evaluate him in 3-4 weeks, they'll see if rest can get him on a pathway to recovery, but he's gonna be out certainly a significant period of time and there's no real sense of when, or if, he'll be back this year."@wojespn on Clippers' star Paul George.— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) December 26, 2021
Either way, this is another big blow for the Clippers, who have already been missing Kawhi Leonard all season and currently have Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson in health and safety protocols.
Well, Luke should be back anyway. pic.twitter.com/Sly8g9qB0b— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) December 26, 2021
George’s absence looms largest, though, as he has been the team’s best player all season, and is currently averaging 24.7 points per game, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists. For as long as he’s out, the Clippers will be missing by far their most capable two-way wing and the engine of their offense. Ty Lue will have his work cut out for him to keep this group competitive for however long George is sidelined with this injury.
However, as Woj noted, this is the same elbow that cost George two games earlier, and so the team is wise to exercise caution and make sure he does not do any further damage to the ligament by trying to play through it.
The Clippers will get their first chance to try and rally in George’s absence on Sunday, when they’ll host the Denver Nuggets for their first game in the newly renamed Crypto.com arena. That game will be televised locally on Bally Sports.
This developing story may update with more information.