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Clippers' Matt Barnes to play against Denver

Clippers' Matt Barnes to play against Denver
Matt Barne (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Matt Barnes walked out onto the Clippers' court Friday and started shooting wearing dark goggles, sort of a Terminator look for the small forward.

Barnes has missed the last 16 games recovering from surgery to repair a torn retina in his left eye, but Coach Doc Rivers said Barnes would play Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

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And, no, Barnes won't be wearing those shaded goggles, but he will wear a pair when he plays.

"I think it'll be good," Rivers said. "First of all, I think Matt is our best cutter. So that'll give us some of that again. And I think right now, when I go semi-small, I can go with [Antawn Jamison] or Stephen [Jackson] and Stephen and Matt being together defensively could be really good."

Besides being out almost a month recovering from three procedures on his eye, Barnes missed several more games because of a bruised right thigh.

He has played in just eight games this season, averaging 5.9 points a game.

Rivers said he told Barnes to dress for Wednesday night's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, "but I had no plans on playing him."

"I told him, 'Listen, you just never know. I'll throw you in. I have no fear of that.' But I didn't want to," Rivers said. "He worked out [Thursday]. We brought in four of the guys just to run him through stuff. Then he gets a real practice today. So that'll be good."

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