Clippers star Paul George isn’t expected to play again during the regular season as he recovers from a right knee sprain, but he hasn’t been ruled for the postseason. Still, the Clippers recognize that they’ll likely need to win a few playoff games without George in order to have a chance to get him back in their lineup, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance this week on FanDuel TV (Twitter video link).
“The Clippers believe, I’m told, that they’re going to have to get out of at least the first round for a real window for Paul George to return,” Charania said. “So maybe second round, conference finals. You get out of the first round and you give yourself a chance to get Paul George back.”
At 41-36, the Clippers are currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, so they may enter the first round without home court advantage. Winning a series on the road without their top scorer would be a tall order, but it may be L.A.’s only path to getting George back on the court this spring.
Here are a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA:
- Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (left ankle sprain) was originally listed as out for Friday’s game against Indiana (Twitter link via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman), but has since been upgraded to questionable (Twitter link via Andrew Schlecht of The Athletic). Gilgeous-Alexander, whose team still has a hold on the 10th spot in the West at 38-39, has missed the last two games due to that sprained ankle.
- Another Western Conference All-Star, Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, will also remain sidelined on Friday, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. It’s the fourth time in the last five games that Markkanen has been ruled out due to a left hand contusion. A loss vs. Boston tonight might put the Jazz’s play-in hopes on life support — they’re currently at No. 12 in the West, 1.5 games back of Oklahoma City.
- Hornets guard Terry Rozier will miss a fourth straight game on Friday vs. Chicago due to left foot discomfort, per Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Charlotte has just four games left after tonight, so it’s unclear whether we’ll see Rozier again this season. Kelly Oubre (right shoulder sprain), who has also been out for the last three games, has been upgraded to questionable for Friday.