Douglas-Roberts Dealing With Strained Achilles

Rowan Kavner

LOS ANGELES - Chris Douglas-Roberts’ absence the last couple of games now makes more sense.

Head coach Doc Rivers said Saturday the Clippers forward is dealing with a strained Achilles. Rivers guessed it could take Douglas-Roberts about a week or two for his return, but at this point there’s no immediate timetable.

Douglas-Roberts only played in one of the Clippers’ last four games, and Rivers said it’s something the forward was quietly trying to fight through until it became too much.

“I would say this, that he has had a problem and didn’t really express it to the trainers, from what I understand,” Rivers said. “My guess is yes, it probably has affected him. But he’s new and he wanted to play, so he was probably going through that and didn’t want to say anything. Then it got to a point where it really started affecting him, so he finally had to say something.”

Since the preseason, Douglas-Roberts has been in the mix at a small forward position the Clippers are still trying to figure out.

They’ve gone small and used Jamal Crawford as a starter at small forward the last couple games, but Rivers said Matt Barnes will start at small forward Saturday against the Suns.

“I think he still knows his role,” Rivers said. “He’s still going to play the same. He’s still going to play probably the exact same amount of minutes. There’s a team named San Antonio that does it all the time, and they’re really good. So I know it can be done.

“I just think in our case, that’s the type of team we are. I would love not to; I would love to have a set lineup every night. I just don’t think that’s the type of team we are. So if we’re not that team, try to put the best product every night to start the game or middle of the game, wherever you think you can create a matchup.”