When Paul George last spoke to the media on Dec. 20 after the Clippers lost to San Antonio, it was his first time playing in six games due to what was deemed a sprained ligament in his elbow at that point. He said he felt fine, but he wasn’t sure if he would need any time off later to manage the injury.
Five days later, the diagnosis was upgraded to a full tear in his UCL, and George was put on the shelf for at least 3-4 weeks. In the past two weeks, the Clippers have been so overrun by Covid issues that it was hard to keep track of George’s progress.
Fortunately, Reggie Jackson was available to speak on Wednesday before the team’s practice and was happy to provide an update on his best friend.
“He’s taking it day-by-day,” Jackson said. “I just talked to him yesterday on the game. We were playing video games, supposed to be an off day, just relaxing. And that was the first thing he’s thinking about, is like, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘My elbow is feeling good. Rested, feeling good.’ I appreciate hearing that, but I’m like, ‘Paul, just let your mind rest a little bit, it’s good to hear your body is good. Just continue to take it day and day.’”
The current plan is to re-evaluate George within the next two weeks and then determine the next steps. Jackson’s optimism, though ever present, is at least a good sign.
While George is out of action, the Clippers have also been missing Isaiah Hartenstein with an ankle injury. Hartenstein hasn’t played in eight games, and Ty Lue was quick to say, “he’s not going to be able to play right now” on Wednesday with the caveat that Lue has also been away from the team for a few days. The Clippers have three centers, but Hartenstein’s unavailability has been magnified due to the simultaneous absence of Ivica Zubac.
Nicolas Batum has also missed the last five games with an ankle sprain, per the injury report, but his return should be sooner. Batum told Law Murray of The Athletic that he’s dealing with a bone bruise, which would explain why he returned from the initial ankle injury and then had to sit out again. Without George, the Clippers need Batum now more than ever.
Batum says that he's actually dealing with a bone bruise in his foot. He's never had that before.— Law Murray (@LawMurrayTheNU) January 5, 2022
"It SUCKS." https://t.co/A63hDIg1y4
More news for Thursday:
- The Clippers are going hard in their Paul George All-Star push. At the helm, of course, is Reggie Jackson.
The Clippers’ campaign for Paul George for all-star consideration (an effort voiced today by Reggie Jackson) includes sweatshirts. pic.twitter.com/5jI4QwRsa0— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) January 5, 2022
- The GRAMMYs, originally scheduled for Jan. 31 at Crypto.com Arena, have been postponed. The Clippers’ eight-game road trip to end January? Still on the schedule!
- Is Luke Kennard left-handed?
- Zach Kram checks in on the large crop of NBA replacement players.
- Malik Rose is the new head of G League operations.
- The Mavericks retired Dirk Nowitzki’s number Wednesday, and Tim Cato has some great stories from Nowitzki’s career.