Benjamin, who has recurring tendinitis in his left knee, returned to Los Angeles Monday night and is scheduled to be examined this morning by Dr. Tony Daly, the team physician.
Benjamin played against the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs last weekend in the first two games of the three-game trip but was unable to practice Monday morning in San Antonio. He accompanied the team here, then caught another flight to Los Angeles.
This will be the second game Benjamin has missed this season. He sprained his left ankle in the Clippers' 46-point season-opening loss in Denver on Nov. 6 and didn't play the next night as Los Angeles lost its home-opener to the Portland Trail Blazers by 25 points.
Clipper Coach Gene Shue said he would probably use a lineup of three forwards and two guards tonight. Forwards Michael Cage, Ken Norman and Joe Wolf and guards Mike Woodson and Larry Drew played the final 18 minutes in the six-point loss at San Antonio Saturday night.
Norman has a sprained left ankle, but is expected to play. Drew lost his starting spot at point guard to Darnell Valentine last week, then scored a team-high 24 points against the Spurs. Shue said he may start Drew tonight.
The Clippers are 1-0 against Houston this season, having beaten the Rockets last month at the Sports Arena, 98-92. The Clippers haven't won a road game in two months, however, having lost 13 straight.