The 15-year veteran told The Times in an interview Thursday his calf was not as tender as it was previously, though he had not resumed running.
The Clippers have won five consecutive games and seven of 11 overall in Crawford's absence, lessening the need for him to rush his return. They next play the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at
"It's hard not playing," said Crawford, who is not traveling with the team on its current three-game trip, "but I just look at it as each day is a little closer to coming back. The team is playing well and I see my family a little more, so I'm trying to look at the positives."
Crawford sustained the injury March 2 when a
"It's just a slow process because this is a sensitive area," said Crawford, who has had his calf drained to promote healing. "This is probably the weirdest [injury] because you just don't see it happen in basketball."
Crawford, 35, is familiar with the downside to coming back from an injury prematurely. He returned in late March of last season after missing eight of the nine previous games because of a strained left calf. After playing in five games, he had to sit out the next five when the calf became aggravated.
Asked whether he was concerned his current injury might end his season, Crawford said, "No, I'm not worried. I believe I'll be fine."
Crawford's lengthy injury layoff could complicate his bid to win the NBA's sixth man of the year award for a record third time. He has played in 60 of 72 games this season but his statistics — 16.4 points per game, 40.1% shooting — are comparable to Boston's
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Rivers said he wants to keep his players rested for the playoffs, even if it means sitting them out for a game against their wishes.
There could be a battle of wills developing with only 10 games left in the Clippers' regular season.
The Clippers have three sets of back-to-back games left, starting March 31 against
"We'll talk about it," Paul said in a firm tone.
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The Clippers will monitor
Robinson sat out the Clippers' game against the
CLIPPERS VS. PHILADELPHIA
When: Friday, 4 p.m. PDT.
Where: Wells Fargo Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330.
Record vs. 76ers: 1-0.
Update: Philadelphia's lost season produced a moment to savor Wednesday when the 76ers beat the