REDICK HOPES TO PLAY SOON
PLAYA VISTA – With two consecutive practices since returning from a left quad contusion, Clippers guard J.J. Redick is nearing a return to game action.
Redick, who until Monday had not practiced since Oct. 6, said Tuesday that he hopes to be back on the court in at least one of the Clippers’ final two preseason games (Wednesday against the Jazz or Friday against the Kings).
“There was no residual soreness or anything after yesterday,” Redick said. “I haven’t even talked to [Clippers trainer Jasen Powell] about that yet. I don’t know what my status is for tomorrow. My assumption is Friday would be a go. There might be some minute restrictions or something tomorrow, I don’t know.”
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said he will wait to determine whether or not Redick is available Wednesday.
“It depends on how his body reacts,” Rivers said. “We went really hard yesterday and he went through the whole practice, so that was good.
“I’m going to try and play him as much as his body can take because he needs it.”
Redick was acquired by the Clippers on July 10 via a sign-and-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, but has yet to play in the preseason due to the injury. He said Tuesday that he played through the thigh bruise for three days while the Clippers trained in San Diego, but it progressively got worse.
“I don’t know how I actually got injured,” Redick said. “I had a contusion from the first day of training camp and the last practice of training camp my leg really started bothering me. It didn’t bother for three days and then all of a sudden it just started bothering me. We had practice that following Sunday (Oct. 6) after our off day and was just dragging my leg.
“So, they decided to hold me out in Portland. I got an MRI and there was a partial tear in there. Not serious, but significant enough that two weeks of rest was the required time off. It wasn’t just a bad bruise or anything like that. I probably would have been able to play through that.”
During the two weeks off, Redick was only permitted to do muscle activation exercises while resting his injured leg. Willie Green started in Redick’s place in five of the six preseason games and Jamal Crawford started one game last week when Green was given a scheduled night off. Redick ramped up his conditioning on Saturday while the team was in Las Vegas to take on the Denver Nuggets.
“Saturday I was a little sore,” Redick said. “Not from the injury, just my body. Cardio-wise that’s why I didn’t want to take any reps off. During our scrimmage I played all of the minutes, so I think that will come back quickly.”
Rivers described Monday’s workout as a “scrimmage-heavy practice” and Redick went through it all, something that was important in terms of integrating Redick back into the fold. While he is slated to be the starting shooting guard alongside Chris Paul, Redick is one of seven new players on the team’s 15-man roster and has only participated in a week of organized workouts this month.
“That would have taken time even if he had been healthy,” Rivers said. “The shooter-passer relationship is probably one of the more underrated things. The timing is really important. When a great passer gets the exact timing of a great shooter, it makes the shooter even better.”
Redick and Paul established some semblance of chemistry during workouts at the Clippers Training Center this summer. But now it’s about refining it.
“We clicked really well when we were here during the summer playing pickup games and stuff like that, but obviously it’s a lot different in organized games,” Paul said. “Yesterday was great in practice. We actually had a couple of miscues that’s why today will be good and so will the preseason games.”
Rivers added: “It’s a setback. But I’m not that concerned by it. I’m really not. The things we would have put in [with Redick], we’ll put in later.”
BULLOCK AND BARNES UPDATE
Rivers said he hopes Matt Barnes (sore left calf) will be able to return Thursday or Friday. He is yet to take part in a full practice since the team was in San Diego. Reggie Bullock (sore right knee), who practiced at full-speed for the first time Monday, was back on the court in Tuesday’s practice.