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Mike D'Antoni tweaks usual answer about Chris Paul's return status

Save for their season-opening win against Golden State, the Houston Rockets have been living on-court life without point guard Chris Paul. He suffered a knee injury in that game and has been listed as “week-to-week” ever since by the team.

Still, his status is a daily question for those following the team and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has said of late that Paul’s timetable to return remains a few weeks out. His answer was more or less the same after Tuesday’s practice, but as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle points out, there was a tweak to D’Antoni’s wording that may give Houston fans some hope:

D’Antoni said last Wednesday that he guessed Paul would be out another two weeks. He said he could only guess until the Rockets measure his progress when Paul returns to practice. D’Antoni said that again on Tuesday, adding that it is unclear how much practice time the trainers will want Paul to put in before he is cleared to play. But he found a different way to describe the timetable since his “two weeks” estimate was nearly a week old.

“I just think it is sooner than later,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t know how soon that is. For me, it will never be soon enough. I guess we can use the baseball analogy; he’s probably rounding second and pretty close to third so we’re getting there.”

“We’re just going to keep on improving,” forward Trevor Ariza said. “It’s going to be a bit of an adjustment, because he has been out. But I don’t think it will take too long for him to find a rhythm because he’s always in tune to what we’re doing. Getting him back is going to be exciting. We can’t wait. I know he’s ready to get back on the court, as well.”

Aside from that Paul update, it is worth pointing out that forward Luc Mbah a Moute missed today’s practice with a bruised knee and that James Harden missed practice for personal reasons.

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