“We’re used to that. We can’t have nice things, we can’t all be on the floor at the same time.”
Those words from Ivica Zubac just a few weeks ago, in conversation with Andrew Greif from the Los Angeles Time, are ringing true once again for new reasons. Because just as the Los Angeles Clippers had managed to get Kawhi Leonard back on the court as a starter, Paul George went down with an injury.
I'm reminded of a talk I had with Ivica Zubac a few weeks ago in San Antonio about playing yet again without key pieces due to injury. He smiled and said, “We’re used to that. We can’t have nice things, we can’t all be on the floor at the same time." https://t.co/oMAagRZqbj— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) November 21, 2022
Now, the wagons of doubt are circling once again. It’s in part not been helped by conflicting messages – from George himself being overheard reassuring owner Steve Ballmer that it was just more right knee soreness, to coach Tyronn Lue calling it “a little tweak in his calf”, to seeing the words “hamstring tendon strain” written on the team’s injury report before they faced the Utah Jazz.
A big win against the Western Conference leaders will hopefully allay some of the concerns from Clipper Nation as a show that they still have more than enough talent on the roster to keep adding to their three-game win streak. However, questions will remain in the back of minds about just how long we can expect PG to be sidelined for.
A dangerous dip into the world of Google for answers throws up a plethora of potential timelines for returns — from as little as a few days for a grade one ‘strain’, to a grade two or three ‘tear’ meaning multiple months, with the risk of reinjury supposedly ‘high’.
Given that the Clippers are so far listing this one as a strain, the hope is that we see our guy back on the court in no time at all. However, the franchise has also been accused in some quarters of developing a pattern for downplaying injuries, so there could yet be further uncertainty to come among fans.
With the Golden State Warriors playing host to Lue’s squad on Wednesday, it seems unlikely that we’ll see George take part, while a Friday night home game against the Denver Nuggets may also come too soon. So it could be that Sunday’s matinee against his former Indiana Pacers is the sweet spot, so long as things really aren’t as bad as they seem.
Another example of the Clippers curse, or another minor setback for a major comeback later down the line? All we know is that we’ll have to sit tight for now to see how this one plays out.