LA Clippers swingman Paul George will be out of the mix for the stretch run of the season.
The team announced that George has a sprained right knee that will cause him to miss the next two to three weeks. That absence period puts him in jeopardy of missing the rest of the regular season, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports is likely for George. Per Wojnarowski, a timetable for George’s return in the postseason will be clearer once he is reevaluated.
Here is the LA Clippers update on Paul George.
2-3 weeks means he is definitely out for next 7 games, likely out for rest of regular season, and very questionable to be ready for any Play-In games if Clippers cannot secure a top-six seed without him. pic.twitter.com/oF1GVgvm9X
— Law Murray 🥁 (@LawMurrayTheNU) March 22, 2023
George is expected to be out for the rest of the regular season's nine games, but his timeline for a possible return in the playoffs will be clearer when he's re-evaluated. https://t.co/dggAJipTm9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 22, 2023
George got hurt in Tuesday night’s 101-100 loss to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The star guard hit the court after getting fouled by Luguentz Dort with 4:38 remaining. In obvious pain and surrounded by his teammates, George stayed down for several minutes after suffering his injury.
Supported by staff on either side, George headed to the locker room, appearing unable to put any weight on his right leg. There was no immediate update on George after the game and Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said he was still being evaluated. George later left the arena on the back of a cart with his right leg extended.
The game was tied 91-91 when George left.
Scary looking scene as PG leaves while aided by team staffers. pic.twitter.com/TbpblD04k9
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) March 22, 2023
“I went up for the rebound, kind of hit his leg,” Dort said. “I didn’t do it on purpose, definitely an accident.”
Leonard said he hadn’t spoken to George afterward.
“I didn’t see the play,” Leonard. “I just thought he got hit in the face at the time.”
George had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Potentially losing him so close to the end of the regular season could put the Clippers’ postseason aspirations in jeopardy.
Gilgeous-Alexander, the centerpiece of the blockbuster deal that brought George to LA from Oklahoma City in 2019, scored his team’s last six points as Oklahoma City led by one before Kawhi Leonard was unable to get a shot off on the game’s final possession.
“Next man up,” Leonard said about the possibility of playing without George. “We got a group of guys that still want to win, like to play basketball, so we’ll see what happens.”
The loss dropped the Clippers to 38-35 and No. 5 in the Western Conference, giving them a one-game lead on the No. 6-seeded Golden State Warriors and a 1 1/2-game lead on the No. 7-seeded Thunder. Six of the Clippers’ final 10 games are at home, including a four-game homestand that began with Tuesday’s loss.
An All-Star this season, George is averaging 23.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 55 games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.