Reinforcements Are Close at Hand


The Clippers are not at full strength yet but they’re getting closer.

Backup center Marty Conlon, who missed the previous four games to be with his ailing father in New York, returned to the team and played in his first game as Clipper, getting two points in three minutes against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Shooting guard Derek Anderson and power forward Brian Skinner are still sidelined because of left ankle sprains, but both traveled to Denver and Anderson plans to return to action soon.

The only Clipper not to travel with the team was veteran point guard Eric Murdock, who also has a left ankle sprain.



Anderson, who missed his seventh consecutive game, hopes to practice today with the team in Houston.

“I’m just going to start practicing and getting ready,” he said. “For safety precautions, I’ll probably wait until after the New Year. But, I could play Thursday 1/8at Houston 3/8. It’s my body.”

Anderson, who sat out three games early in the season because of a mild concussion, said his latest injury is easier to judge.

” 1/8I’ve always been a quick healer 3/8 and that’s why I don’t believe when people say, ‘He’s going to be out this long,’ ” Anderson said.

“I’ve been through two rehabs and this is real easy. The concussion was a lot worse. I was more nervous because I didn’t have any control of that. This I can feel, but with the concussion, when I would start working out I would get dizzy and I would have to sit down.

“There’s a big difference in this because you can push yourself a lot harder.”


After sitting out the Clippers’ victory over Boston on Sunday because of a sore left knee, center Michael Olowokandi started against the Nuggets and had 11 points and nine rebounds.


Coach Chris Ford, however, was not pleased with how Olowokandi ran the floor.

“I don’t know if his knee is bothering him or whatever, but he didn’t run very well,” Ford said. “To me, he flat-out didn’t run. He played 31 minutes but a lot of the time I saw him not running.”

Olowokandi said he was in pain for much of the game and hopes to be able to play through his injury.


Backup center Keith Closs, who played well during the team’s three-game winning streak, had 10 points, five rebounds and blocked three shots in 13 minutes.