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Clippers' Austin Rivers feels he's ready to play Tuesday

Clippers' Austin Rivers feels he's ready to play Tuesday
A trainer tends to Clippers guard Austin Rivers after he injured against the Lakers in the first half at Staples Center on Dec. 29, 2017. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

After an MRI on Saturday revealed Austin Rivers had just a sore right Achilles' tendon injury, and after getting treatment during the Clippers' win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday at Staples Center, he declared that he'll be ready to play Tuesday against Memphis.

"I don't know what they're talking about, but I feel like I'm playing Tuesday," Rivers said.

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Rivers was injured against the Lakers on Friday night and didn't play against the Hornets.

When it first happened, Rivers admitted he was "scared" because he was unable to walk and had to be carried into the locker room.

"It felt like a sharp knife had jabbed in my Achilles'," Rivers said. "That's why I was like, 'This feels like something just tore or something.' And when it jammed, it felt like something popped, so you feel a popping and a stinging in your Achilles' and you can't put no weight on it and you never having anything like that before, with your Achilles', I'm sitting thinking like … I started getting emotional. That's one of the worst things that you could have as an athlete these days. … But they came back with great news."

Then, while he was being worked on by the Clippers' medical and training staff before and during Sunday's game, Rivers was able to become pain-free.

"So I hoped and prayed that it was nothing serious," Rivers said. "It turns out I have muscle back there that keeps getting jammed, so it's caused me not to be able to walk on it. They unjammed it, though. We'll have to continue to strengthen it. It's not a problem."

Gallinari improving

Before the Clippers played the Lakers on Friday, Danilo Gallinari was on the court working out.

Though he missed his 11th consecutive game with a left glute injury, the Clippers are starting to see some improvement from their small forward.

His return to action remains uncertain.

"He's making progress," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "He's definitely moving better. There's no update on his return or anything like that. But it's the best that I've seen him move around, sure. And I think that has to be a pretty positive sign."

Etc.

Rookie guard Jawun Evans made his first start of the season in place of the injured Rivers. Evans had four points, four rebounds and two assists.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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