Baron Davis Trades One Ailment for Another, Will Remain Sidelined

Baron Davis seems to be over the flu, but an injury sustained in practice yesterday is going to keep him on the sidelines for a little while longer. The Clippers will be without their newly acquired star for at least the next two games of the pre-season, after Davis sprained the ring finger on his left hand. X-rays were negative (so the finger wasn't broken), but nothing could be determined from the MRI one way or the other. Davis will miss the teams' two games this weekend at Staples Center, making it four in a row that the team has had to figure things out with out him.

I'm sure that of this were the regular season, Baron would tape a finger that wasn't broken on his non-shooting hand and just get after it. At least, I'm pretty sure. Well, actually, I guess it's difficult to say for sure. He does have a history of not playing the entire season, and given his propensity for missing time, it's unclear what his threshold is for playing while injured. In fact, here's a look at how many games Baron has appeared in, year by year, since the 2002-03 season. Remember, 82 is the goal here, people.

2002-03    50
2003-04    67
2004-05    46
2005-06    54
2006-07    63
2007-08    82 (!)

So finally, last season, Baron made it through all 82 games. If you believe that it was coincidence that he was up for a new contract at the end of the year where he played in all 82 for the first season in the last six, well, you're less cynical than I am.

After missing two games already this pre-season, Baron should really try to get back out there if the injury is what they're telling us it is, and if the team's training staff will allow it. The Clippers are less than two weeks away from opening the season (against the Lakers no less), and Davis has spent a mere 18 minutes on the court in a game situation with his new teammates. Rookies Eric Gordon and Mike Taylor have both looked sharp so far at the guard spot, but the team is only going to go as far as Baron can take them. And with his limited time practicing and playing with new players in a new system, it's likely to be a while before his presence on the court translates into victories for the team.

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