NBA

Chris Paul Could Return to Clippers For Thursday Showdown With Warriors

Los Angeles Clippers' point guard Chris Paul has been medically cleared to return to the court after missing the last five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Surprise, he's back!

Los Angeles Clippers' point guard Chris Paul has been medically cleared by doctors and could take court as soon as Thursday night when the team heads to the "Roaracle" to take on the NBA's best team in the Golden State Warriors. 

Paul was back at practice on Wednesday after missing the last five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb. The injury occurred during a game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 16, and Paul had surgery to repair the tear two days later. 

Originally, Paul was expected to miss up to eight weeks, returning during the middle of March, but doctors said that the nine-time All-Star is ahead of schedule in the recovery process.

"I'm getting better," Paul told reporters after practice on Wednesday. "Yesterday was the first time in 4 and ½ weeks I've gotten a chance to play."

Paul could take the court as soon as Thursday in Oakland when the Clippers take on the Golden State Warriors, but Paul didn't necessarily exude confidence in that regard.

"It can't factor in. I don't want to be out there hurting the team," Paul said on whether they fact it’s the Warriors impacts his decision to return on Thursday. "Unfortunately, I'm very familiar with the rehab process."

The Clippers are currently riding a four-game winning streak without their star point guard, but lead the Utah Jazz for fourth place (and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs) by only ½ game in the Western Conference.

The next two games for the Clippers are against the Warriors on Thursday, and the Spurs at Staples Center on Friday. Two important games that the team could use Paul as they are 11-19 in games without him over the last two seasons.

"Overall he was pretty aggressive," Clippers' head coach Doc Rivers said of how Paul looked in practice. "But it was clear as practice went on and he got more and more aggressive. In the first half, he wouldn't even play with the starters, but the end of practice he was back playing with the starters."

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