Injuries mounting for Clippers
Beverley is out with a bad knee and Rivers is questionable after spraining his ankle.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The day began with the Clippers announcing that starting point guard Patrick Beverley had been sent home to Los Angeles because of a sore right knee. The day ended with the Clippers announcing that starting guard Austin Rivers had sprained his right ankle in practice Thursday afternoon and was questionable for the game against Oklahoma City on Friday night.
So for those keeping count, that’s four starters from the Clippers who have medical issues.
Milos Teodosic, who became the starting point guard when Rivers strained his right glute in the first exhibition game in Hawaii in October, has been out since leaving the second game of the regular season with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot. He remains out indefinitely.
Starting small forward Danilo Gallinari didn’t play Tuesday against San Antonio because of a strained right glute, and he’s expected to be out for perhaps another week.
Then the news arrived Thursday morning before the Clippers practiced that Beverley’s knee injury was going to prevent him from playing against the Thunder on Friday night and at the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Beverley flew home Wednesday morning, the day after the Clippers lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
“It’s a sore right knee, but everything looks good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before practice Thursday at Chesapeake Arena. “He’ll miss the rest of the trip.”
The Clippers think Beverley will be out for about a week.
Beverley injured the knee during an exhibition game in Hawaii against the Toronto Raptors, but he played in the third preseason game at Staples Center against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Beverley sat out the final two exhibition games because of the knee, but he was able to play in the regularseason opener against the Lakers.
“It’s the same thing that kept him out of the second half of camp,” Doc Rivers said. “But he’ll be fine. That’s the good news. We were worried that it could be worse and it’s not. But he’s still probably going to miss a week of games.”
Media access ended before the Clippers practiced Thursday, but about an hour later the Clippers said Rivers had a mild sprain.
The Clippers called up forward C.J. Williams from the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario team that plays in the NBA’s developmental G League.
But the team probably will have to depend on rookie guards Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans to play alongside veteran Lou Williams if Rivers can’t play.
AT OKLAHOMA CITY
When: 6 On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330. Update: The Clippers had two days off to practice and to fix a defense that’s letting teams make 37.6% of their three-pointers, 22nd in the NBA in that category. The Clippers are ranked 24th in assists, averaging 22.9 a game.