PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – Clippers forward Caron Butler will miss about one week after he was diagnosed with a strained left elbow Monday.
That qualifies as good news for the Clippers, who play just twice in the next eight days and could get another injured player, guard Jamal Crawford, back in time for Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.
“You don’t want anybody to miss any time, but if it’s only a week or so, that’s obviously good news for us after seeing Caron after the game,” coach Vinny Del Negro said after practice.
Butler, who is averaging 10.3 points a game, was visibly in pain when he sustained the injury late in the third quarter, clutching his elbow and heading immediately to the locker room as soon as the clock stopped. Del Negro said the injury was not a result of being hit but said Butler, who had 15 points and 5 rebounds at the time, began to experience spasms in the area.
“Last night I wasn’t too optimistic when I saw him in the training room,” Del Negro said. “He was in a lot of pain. There wasn’t anything structurally (wrong). He just has a strain. We’ll give him some time off and reevaluate him. They’re telling us about a week.”
Matt Barnes, who is averaging 10.7 points off the bench, will start in Butler’s place Wednesday and probably Sunday in a home game against the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, Crawford took part in practice and is expected to play, although it’s unlikely that backup point guard Eric Bledsoe will be available. He’s still nursing a sore left calf.
Crawford, the leading candidate for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, has missed the previous two games because of a sore left ankle.