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Paul George to make season debut vs. Pelicans

Kawhi Leonard will be sidelined with left knee injury management

LA Clippers forward Paul George will make his season debut against the New Orleans Pelicans (8 ET, League Pass), per coach Doc Rivers.

This would also be George’s team debut, playing his first minutes for his hometown team in L.A.

The Clippers still won’t be at full strength for Thursday’s contest, however, as Kawhi Leonard (left knee injury management) and Patrick Beverley (sore left calf) are both out.

The six-time All-Star George has been sidelined for the Clippers’ first 11 games while recovering from two offseason shoulder surgeries. George underwent rotator cuff surgery in May to repair a partially torn tendon in his right shoulder, and a minor surgery in June to repair a partial tear of his left labrum. The Clippers traded for the perennial All-Star in July with the expectation he’d miss training camp and potentially the start of the season.

George had his first full practice with his Clippers teammates on Saturday and had no limitations during that workout. Per the Los Angeles Times, George scrimmaged with a team of reserves against a crew of starters led by Leonard.

Leonard, who did not play in the first of the back-to-back sets in each of the past two weeks, finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Wednesday’s 102-93 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Last season, George averaged career highs of 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and a league-leading 2.2 steals.