Clippers’ Chris Paul out 6-8 weeks with torn thumb ligament

first_imgIn 36 games, Paul is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals.Paul missed time in the past month with a strained left hamstring, and the Clippers lost six in a row during that stretch. This time, the team hopes they’re better prepared for his absence because of the lessons they learned while losing.“We better have learned something, right?” Mbah a Moute asked rhetorically. “… If Chris is out, we’ve learned it’s how hard we play. It’s not just the talent. We just can’t come out and expect to win because we have talent or on paper, we look good. We’ve got to come out at night and play hard, play harder than the other team. That way, you can take the pressure off not having Blake (Griffin) and not having Chris, having someone else hurt or not playing well. “Griffin, who has been out since before Christmas, could be returning soon, but Paul’s injury is certainly a blow to the Clippers, who have won seven consecutive games.“I’m not assuming the worst by any means, but I recognize there’s probably a chance he’s out a game or two in that best case, and in the worst case, we’ll deal with that.” Redick said Monday. “In the immediate future, hopefully it’s not serious. But, if it is, Blake’s going to be back soon. So, next guy up, I guess. We’ve kind of dealt with this a bit lately, and we’ll just continue to plug away.” Paul underwent a MRI on his left thumb Tuesday afternoon, the tests showing a torn ligament in his left thumb. He’ll undergo surgery Wednesday and he’s expected to miss six to eight weeks.With Paul out, guards Raymond Felton and Austin Rivers are expected to pick up point-guard minutes.For Paul, it’s the latest in a line of hand injuries he’s had that date to 2012, when he had his right thumb operated on after playing with Team USA in the London Olympics. Paul broke his right hand and required surgery last summer and missed time this preseason after spraining his left thumb.Paul injured the thumb in the second quarter, when his hand got trapped on Russell Westbrook’s hip. He left the game and didn’t return.Paul’s numbers in the first half of the season should’ve made him a lock for a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img LOS ANGELES >> The players on the Clipper bench, the ones who saw their playoff dreams shatter in a matter of minutes a season ago, were immediately taken back to that heart-sinking place.Chris Paul had just injured his left hand, and on his way off the court, his frustration was impossible to ignore. He kicked a chair. He shouted back at the officials. And, as he walked off the court and into the locker room, the worst kind of nostalgia flooded into Clipper brains.The last time Paul looked like this — during Game 4 against Portland in last year’s playoffs — the Clippers lost him for the rest of the playoffs. So, before the end of the first half Monday night, they began bracing for the worst.“It was the same reaction,” Luc Mbah a Moute said after Monday’s win. “I mean, if he acts like that, something is not right.”last_img