A couple of days ago, we discussed the most recent ailment to sideline Baron Davis: a sprained ring finger on his left hand that occurred during the team's practice on Friday. Since the X-rays came back negative (and the MRI was inconclusive), I suggested that Baron might want to tape it up and try to get out there to get some time on the floor with his new teammates. If this latest report from ESPN's J.A. Adande has any substance behind it, not only will Davis miss the rest of the preseason, but he could be out a whole lot longer.
The initial diagnosis was a sprained ligament; X-rays revealed there was not a broken bone. However, there is a possibility that there could be a ruptured tendon in the finger, which would require surgical repair. If surgery is not necessary, it still could take up to three weeks for Davis to recuperate and return to action.
The time for bashing Baron over missing time has passed; at this point it's something that Clippers fans are just going to have to get used to. Again though, we're talking about ligament damage to a finger on the man's non-shooting hand. While it might be painful if he were to jam it or something during a game, this is an injury that Davis could play through if he chose to. If this seems insensitive, you need to look no further than down the Staples Center hallway for an example of a player doing exactly that.
Kobe Bryant last season sustained ligament damage to the pinkie finger on his right hand -- his shooting hand -- right before the All-Star break, and didn't miss any time at all. In fact, against the team doctor's advice to get it surgically repaired, Kobe played the remainder of the season, won the MVP award, and carried his team to the NBA Finals. Not to mention playing on Team USA this summer in the Olympics. And after all of that, Kobe still opted against the surgery, because he didn't want to miss any of training camp in preparation for the upcoming season.
Now Baron Davis is not Kobe Bryant, and let's be honest, there are few (if any) players in the league that share Kobe's competitive fire. But the Clippers are going to have a tough enough time this season being successful with Baron on the floor for all 82 games. If it turns out he does opt for the surgery and misses the first month of the season, it's very possible the hole the team finds itself in to start the season will be too deep to climb out of.