Chauncey Billups has only been back with the Clippers for the team’s last three games, but he’s already sidelined once again due to injury.
Billups went down with a torn Achilles tendon last season, and worked extremely hard to make it back.
But he was forced to sit out of Wednesday night’s home contest against the Mavericks due to an inflamed tendon in his left ankle, a new ailment that is unrelated to his previous injury.
From Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times:
“I just kind of feel like I’ve worked way too hard to get back to play hurt, you know what I’m saying,” Billups said.
Billups, who returned to the court Nov. 28 against Minnesota after recovering from the Achilles’ injury he sustained last February, said that his ankle began bothering him during a game against Utah on Monday.
“Honestly in that Utah game … it was really painful,” he said.
“I couldn’t really push off of my left foot. It was just really weak. I couldn’t explode off it. I couldn’t cut. Everything I was doing, I was just getting through it. I’m like, ‘I should be better than this.'”
There’s no timetable for Billups to return, and obviously the team isn’t going to rush him back before he’s fully ready.
Billups wasn’t exactly his old self yet in the three games he did play this season, posting averages of just over seven points and two assists per game in 20 minutes of action. He did, however, flop his way to some free throws that were instrumental in the Clippers’ win in Utah on Monday.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:
Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.
He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.
Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.
“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”
At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.