Another step in Chris Pauls potential return to the court took place Friday morning, when he fully participated in the Hornets team practice at the Alario Center. Hornets first-year head coach Monty Williams said Paul now will undergo another test to determine whether hell be cleared to play on Saturday vs. the Sacramento Kings. Williams said he expects to learn Pauls playing status by Friday evening or Saturday morning, prior to the teams shootaround at the New Orleans Arena.
The Hornets scrimmaged during Fridays practice, but Paul was OK to participate despite the obvious potential for contact. The four-time All-Star point guard competed with and against teammates without incident, saying that he wasnt concerned about the possibility of bumping into anyone on the floor.
Its scary, but at the same time I feel blessed that it wasnt as bad as it couldve been, Paul said of the aftermath of Sundays collision with Clevelands Ramon Sessions. Im grateful to all of the people who wished me well, all the prayers and all the thoughts. I think the toughest part was knowing that my family was worried. After that, the toughest part was finding out I couldnt play.
Paul added that when medical personnel decided to bring a stretcher out for him in Cleveland, he was trying to tell them I didnt need it, but they werent trying to hear that. Im glad Im past that. I hope to never have to relive that again
Ive never had an injury like that. Id never been in an ambulance, or anything like that. I played football (in high school), and I feel like Ive been hit way harder than (what happened) the other night. It was just a freak accident.
More from Fridays practice:
- Monty Williams' assessment of how Paul looked in practice: "Pretty good. He was Chris. What I saw today was good... there were no hiccups, at all."
- Williams, on how doctors are entirely in control of the decision on whether Paul will be cleared to play, meaning Williams has zero input on when Paul returns to action: "As much as you want a guy back, nobody here is going to put a player in harm's way."
- Asked about the return of Marcus Thornton to New Orleans for Saturdays game vs. Sacramento, Paul smiled and said, Its going to be exciting. Im sure Marcus is going to try to go for 50 (points). Thats my guy. I know Marcus really well. Hes like a little brother to me. Im interested to see how the crowd reacts to him coming back here.