Chris Paul will have surgery on left thumb, expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks
The Los Angeles Clippers have now lost their top two scoring options to injuries this season. The team announced Tuesday that All-Star point guard Chris Paul will have surgery on his left thumb to repair a torn ligament and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Paul left Monday’s game after he jammed his left hand on Russell Westbrook’s right leg in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Initial X-rays didn’t show a break, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the tear.
The Clippers, who are riding a seven-game win streak, are 26-9 with Paul in the lineup this season but are only 2-5 when he’s out.
The team is already without Blake Griffin, who had a procedure on his right knee earlier in the season. But it appears Griffin, who was expected to miss four to six weeks, is close to returning to the court.
“Blake’s going to be back soon,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said, via the team’s website. “Next guy up, I guess. We’ve kind of dealt with this quite a bit lately, and we’ll continue to plug away.”
The team has not set a return date for Griffin, but his presence is even more vital now that the Clippers will be without Paul, who is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and leads the NBA with 2.25 steals per game.
“It’s tough,” Clippers guard Austin Rivers said. “We just have to keep attacking and keep moving forward. I know we can keep this win streak going.”