Clippers near deal with Stephen Jackson

After saying earlier Monday that the Clippers weren’t going to sign “anybody today or probably even tomorrow,” Coach Doc Rivers said later that the team was “close” to a deal with free-agent swingman Stephen Jackson.

Jackson is expected to join the Clippers in Boston on Tuesday to sign a contract and for a physical.

“I just think he’s a veteran,” Rivers said. “We need him in a pinch and we need him like now. And that’s a guy that you can bring in and hopefully he can give you something right away with Reggie [Bullock] being out for at least this trip and maybe longer.”

The Clippers needed Jackson because rookie small forward Bullock suffered a sprained left ankle Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Clippers already are without shooting guard J.J. Redick, who will be out at six to eight weeks because of a broken right hand.

Backup small forward Matt Barnes will be out even longer than expected because he had a second procedure on his left retina last week and is not expected to join the team on this trip that has four games left.

Jackson, 35, a 13-year veteran, played for the San Antonio Spurs last season. But the volatile Jackson was waived by the Spurs in April, just before the start of the playoffs.

Jackson went on his social network accounts to announce his return to the NBA.

“I never lost faith,” Jackson said. “The wait is over.”

–Broderick Turner