Bower: Paul return to action imminent

Sunday, March 21, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

Prior to Saturday’s game in Utah, New Orleans general manager/head coach Jeff Bower said he expects Chris Paul’s absence from the lineup to be over soon. Paul has missed the last 25 games, with the Hornets going just 8-17 during that span.

“We will be seeing him soon,” Bower said of the three-time All-Star. “Probably next week at some point; hopefully earlier in the week. We don’t have a firm date, but we’re very close.”

Paul returned to New Orleans on Saturday to work out at the Alario Center and continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery. Check the blog for more updates Monday morning from the Hornets’ team shootaround, prior to their home game against the Mavericks.

• Morris Peterson, David West and James Posey had reason to smile on Sunday, when their college programs advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in dramatic fashion. Mo Pete’s Michigan State Spartans outlasted Maryland on a three-pointer at the buzzer, while Xavier held off Pittsburgh (alma mater of the Hornets’ Aaron Gray).

The other Hornets whose colleges qualified for the tourney were California alum Sean Marks, Kansas’ Julian Wright and Wake Forest’s Paul and Darius Songaila. All three of those schools were eliminated in the second round of the NCAAs.