Chris Paul quietly played through pain to get a gold medal in London — his thumb injury suffered one of the first days in Las Vegas was bad enough to require surgery afterward, but he was not going to bow out.
He got his surgery, and he should be ready to go when the season opens in six weeks.
But with training camp a couple weeks out CP3 confirmed he is going to need a few weeks before he is cleared by doctors for basketball activities, he told the team’s Web site.
“The thumbs doing better, a lot better,” he said. “I’m still a few weeks out from being ready to play and stuff like that, but I go to rehab every day trying to get back because I’m tired of watching these guys play.”
That timeline fits with what we were told after the surgery. It also likely means when the Clippers and Heat play preseason games in China, Paul will waive to the fans while wearing a suit.
Paul has been showing up to the team facilities, working out with a Clipper squad that has a lot of new faces — Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill and more. Paul pushed for a lot of that.
“I’m excited about this season,” Paul said. “Our locker room is filled with a lot of veterans and guys that know what it takes to win.
“It starts with training camp. Fortunately, we have a great group of guys and fortunately they got here early, extra early, and guys have been in for workouts and getting to know each other as well as you can.”
Good chemistry and a team he likes could be key in getting Chris Paul to re-sign with the Clippers as a free agent this summer. In the end, that is all that should matter to the Clippers, because any dreams of title contention for them in the coming years end if CP3 bolts town.