Spencer Hawes expects to return for Clippers tonight against Utah

Spencer Hawes expects to return for Clippers against Utah tonight

Clippers forward-center Spencer Hawes said he expected to return Monday night against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center after sitting out nine games because of a bone bruise in his left knee.

“I feel like it’s ready to go,” Hawes said after the Clippers’ shoot-around.

Hawes said he had received a doctor’s clearance to resume playing but had not spoken to Coach Doc Rivers about playing time.

“I feel it in certain things,” Hawes said of his injury, “but the big thing is I don’t think there’s a real threat of doing anything worse with where it’s at now, so now it’s just kind of keep pushing it, keep seeing how it responds, but I’m very excited obviously to be able to get back out there.”

The Clippers’ bench has been stretched without Hawes, particularly during a busy portion of the schedule in which the team has been playing every other day. Hawes said it’s been difficult to watch.

“I mean, it’s terrible any time you have to sit out, especially when you know your team’s going through a stretch like this and seeing how hard it’s been on guys physically.”

Hawes averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game before being injured Dec. 12 against the Washington Wizards.

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