Injury Update: Paul Sits, Redick Leaves Game
LOS ANGELES - The Clippers thought the days without their starting backcourt were behind them.
But just two weeks after Chris Paul and J.J. Redick returned from groin and back injuries, respectively, they were sidelined once again Wednesday.
Head coach Doc Rivers said prior to the game Paul’s inflamed rib cartilage, which forced him out the majority of the second half Monday against the Trail Blazers, would also keep him out against the Pacers. Then, on the first shot of the game, J.J. Redick came down on his right ankle and rolled it, forcing him out the rest of the night.
Rivers said he’s not sure how long Paul will be out, but he’s assuming at least the “next couple games for sure.” He expected Paul to get another evaluation late Wednesday.
As for Redick, Rivers didn’t believe the guard’s ankle injury to be a long-term setback.
“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss some games, or he may play the next game,” Rivers said. “He tried to give it a go at halftime. He just didn’t feel like he could do it. The good news there is if he’s trying to do it, that means it’s not awful.”
Following Redick’s injury, the Clippers’ shooting guard limped off the court before returning to shoot free throws and then jogging straight back to the locker room. Redick was questionable and returned at one point to sit next to the Clippers bench, using a band to try to stretch out his sprained ankle, but he didn’t return.
Redick missed games against the Suns, Pistons and Warriors with back spasms and was just beginning to feel he had his stamina back, scoring at least 14 points in each of his previous three games. Paul also missed three games earlier in the season against the Rockets, Suns and Pistons with a groin injury.
Rivers didn’t see how the injury occurred to Paul, who missed his fourth game of the year Wednesday. Last year, Paul played in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career.
“I think that was Chris’ goal last year,” Rivers said. “I didn’t really like that goal anyway, but when a player has a goal, you try to let him achieve it. My thought coming into the year, even if he wasn’t injured, maybe rest him a couple games. That’s why I thought Lance (Stephenson) was important, that’s why I thought Pablo (Prigioni) was important as well, to add more guards, guys who can move the ball for us.”
Both Stephenson and Prigioni played Wednesday with Paul out and Redick getting injured on the Clippers’ first play. Stephenson tied for the team-high with 19 points in 28 minutes, while Prigioni had four points in 13 minutes.