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Taking stock of the Clippers health for the stretch run

Here’s what injuries the various Clippers are dealing with.

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers have had a heavily rotating list of available players throughout the past few weeks, and the most common question that comes up — indeed, the first thing that gets asked to Ty Lue any given night — is who will actually be suiting up for that particular game.

With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to keep track of what injuries the Clippers are still dealing with and what we know about their recovery times.

Nicolas Batum

Batum has been relatively healthy since suffering a concussion at the start of February. The team gave him a day off last week against the Timberwolves, since he leads the Clippers in minutes, something he surely didn’t expect when he signed on with the team as a role player this offseason.

However, Batum hurt his shoulder against the Pelicans Monday, and the Clippers limited his minutes since Ty Lue said that Batum appeared to be in pain. “I know Nico got banged up little bit,” Lue said. “He tried to give it a go in the second half and he kept pulling at his shoulder, so we got him out of there, so hopefully he’s okay.”

Batum is currently listed as questionable for Wednesday.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers
It’s been a long time since these three Clippers shared the court.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Patrick Beverley

Beverley fractured the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand while going for a rebound against the Suns on April 8. He had surgery the next day and was set to be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks, with the three-week timeline approaching this Friday. Beverley hasn’t been traveling with the team, but there is reportedly optimism that he will recover on the faster side due to a lack of swelling. As this is an upper body injury, Beverley should be able to return to game speed more easily since he can still maintain his conditioning.

Paul George

George has been dealing with pain related to a bone edema in his right foot since February. That’s the main reason why George hasn’t played in both nights of a back-to-back in a month, and why he probably won’t for the rest of the regular season.

On Monday, George appeared to hurt his ankle while going for a rebound. He said postgame that his ankle was sore and would need treatment, and he expressed the slightest bit of uncertainty about his status for Wednesday’s contest against Phoenix, though he isn’t on the injury report.

“It’s sore right now but the game time is two days away,” George said. “We’ll see. I think I should be good. I’mma ice it and do everything I can to be 100 or close to 100, so right now it’s not a thought. Right now that I’m playing. We’ll see if anything changes come Wednesday.”

Serge Ibaka

Ibaka left a March 14 game with back tightness after eight minutes and hasn’t played since. He was listed as questionable for the team’s next three contests, but has been ruled out at least a day in advance for every game since then.

Lue mentioned that Ibaka had played 4-on-4 before the team traveled to Houston last week. However, there is still no timetable on Ibaka as he remains at home during the team’s road trip.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
The Clippers are indefinitely without two frontcourt starters, Serge Ibaka and Kawhi Leonard.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard

Leonard missed three straight road games the week of April 13 with a sore right foot. He got back on the court on April 18 against Minnesota, but then was ruled out for a week with that same injury. That week ends today without a real update, though Leonard has been upgraded to doubtful for Wednesday’s game at least.

When the decision to sit Leonard was made, Lue said, “(it’s) more of a precautionary thing, it’s something he’s been dealing with and trying to manage, and we just thought you know going down the stretch of the season, it was smart to try to get him as healthy as possible going into the playoffs, so we just want to be cautious.”

Rajon Rondo

When the Clippers acquired Rondo from the Hawks, he was dealing with adductor soreness that delayed his debut for about 10 days. As a result, Rondo has been on a minutes limit since joining the team and restricted from playing back-to-backs. He also experienced wrist soreness last week that held him out of Friday’s game in Houston. That appears to be in the past since Rondo suited up against New Orleans, but it’s something to keep in mind.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
The Clippers are being extra careful with Rondo that he’ll be healthy in the playoffs.
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers haven’t played a game with their first-choice starting lineup since March 14 — though there’s an argument to be made that the first-choice starters were available on April 8, depending on where you land on the Ibaka/Ivica Zubac divide. They’re also still committed to resting their veterans, which has proven fruitful.

Regardless, the Clippers haven’t had nearly as much time to build continuity as they would have hoped, despite their overall performance improving as the year has gone on. With nine games left in the regular season, hopefully that chance comes soon.

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