Jamal Crawford hopeful he can return for the Clippers this season

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A few days ago, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters there was a chance Jamal Crawford’s bruised right calf was bad enough that it would keep him out for the rest of the season. But on Thursday, Crawford seemed much more optimistic that he’ll be back before the start of the playoffs.

From the Los Angeles Times‘ Ben Bolch:

“It’s just a slow process because this is a sensitive area,” said Crawford, who has had his calf drained to promote healing. “This is probably the weirdest [injury] because you just don’t see it happen in basketball.”

Crawford, 35, is familiar with the downside to returning from an injury prematurely. He came back in late March of last season after missing eight of the nine previous games because of a strained left calf. After playing in five games, he had to sit out the next five when the calf became aggravated.

Asked if he was concerned his current injury might end his season, Crawford said, “No, I’m not worried. I believe I’ll be fine.”

A Crawford return would certainly be welcome for the Clippers. He’s their main weapon off the bench, a second unit that otherwise has relied on scoring from the likes of Nate Robinson and Hedo Turkoglu. It’s hard to see them going far in the playoffs without the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.