Davis out for season with knee injury

Times Staff Writer

SAN ANTONIO -- Reserve forward Paul Davis sustained a season-ending injury -- a torn ligament in his right knee -- in Friday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Davis landed awkwardly on the leg while deflecting the ball off the Mavericks’ Erick Dampier in the second quarter and stayed on the ground for several moments before being helped off the court.

The injury was originally diagnosed as a sprain, but afterward Davis said: “I definitely never felt anything like that before.”


An MRI exam in Los Angeles on Saturday performed by team physician Dr. Tony Daly revealed the extent of the injury.

He sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a stabilizing ligament within the center of the knee, and also tore his lateral meniscus, cartilage around the knee. He is scheduled to meet with Daly again Monday and his surgery will probably take place within 10 days, once the swelling in his leg subsides.

“He has worked hard and this was the year he was getting an opportunity to play and the last couple of games he was playing well for us,” Coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery and bounces back.”

Rehabilitation usually takes six months for a torn ACL, which would put Davis on track to return for summer league. Trainer Jasen Powell said he talked to Davis on Saturday and said his spirits were high.

“Once he found out the extent of the injury, he kept his same calmness,” Powell said. “He was a hard worker before the injury and I don’t expect anything to change.”

Davis, a second-year forward from Michigan State, averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 22 games, but was coming into his own recently, scoring 10 points twice in the last seven games. He said his confidence was growing with more playing time and he even called for the ball in the first quarter of Friday’s game before nailing a jump shot.

Davis’ injury is just another in a long line that have plagued the Clippers this season.

He joins Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston as the team’s most seriously injured players, with a host of nagging injuries hindering others.

“It’s another tough break for us,” Corey Maggette said after a long exhale and a shake of his head. “Just another tough break.”

The Clippers still would not qualify for a disabled player exception to add another player to the roster because Brand and Livingston are expected back sometime this season.

Dunleavy started Josh Powell, who had hardly played this season, at forward against the Spurs on Saturday. Of the Clippers who have played this season, only point guard Dan Dickau has yet to start a game.

“It’s an opportunity for somebody else and maybe somebody else accelerates or breaks out,” Dunleavy said. “That’s the way you have to look at it.”