CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Darren Collison limped out of the training room to his locker and plopped his weary body into a chair, his sprained left big toe now the biggest worry the Clippers have to face.
Collison gutted through "some discomfort" for 29 minutes, 50 seconds during the Clippers' tough 95-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
He was forced to sit the final 4:28 of the game, forced to watch the Clippers tie the score at 89-89 on a shot by Jamal Crawford (20 points) and forced to watch them miss their next four straight shots in the final 35.8 seconds.
After it was over and the Clippers fell to 2-2 on this seven-game trip, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers had to face the reality that he may have to sit Collison rather than keep playing his "struggling" point guard.
"He's trying. You can see him laboring up and down the floor, and it's tough," Rivers said. "At some point we may have to make a decision and sit him down as well."
Collison has been forced into the starting role because All-Star point guard Chris Paul is out another four weeks with a separation of his right shoulder.
Rivers repeated that "we may have to" let Collison rest.
"I haven't thought past that. But I'm looking at DC and I've had that injury myself and it doesn't get better playing," Rivers said. "So we're going to have to sit and decide how bad is it, if it's something that's not that bad but it is. We have to make a decision, too."
Part of that decision is what to do with point guard Darius Morris, whose second 10-day contract expires after the game Saturday in Toronto.
If the Clippers keep Morris, they'll have to sign him for the rest of the season.
Collison would prefer to play but will leave it in Rivers' hands.
"Whatever decision Doc decides to do, I'm all up for it," Collison said. "He makes good decisions as a coach. My job is to do as I'm asked to do.
"It's some pain. It's getting better, though. That's the biggest thing. We're making progress."
The Clippers are off Thursday, but play Friday at Chicago.
"Today it felt better than the last game," Collison said. "I'm assuming Friday it'll feel better. We're making some progress. I felt fine out there. I felt fine."
Collison repeated himself as if he was trying to convince himself that the injury he suffered Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers really was fine.
He played against the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, missing all six of his shots.
Collison scored 12 points against the Bobcats, making five of 11 shots.
"It was a little better," Collison said. "I still felt some discomfort. No excuses. I thought the other team played better than us tonight."
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