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Livingston may run out of time

Times Staff Writer

It has been nearly a year since the Clippers’ Shaun Livingston sustained a horrific knee injury and through a mixture of pain, pride and progress, the point guard is still hopeful to return to the court this season.

Livingston said that his left knee, in which he dislocated and tore three ligaments on Feb. 26, 2007, is still healing and he has continued to make strides the last few weeks.

“I’m doing a lot of strength and power,” he said. “Just the same -- running suicides and conditioning -- and endurance is the last step. That’s where I’m at, trying to get my endurance back, so when I get tired, the knee doesn’t really give out.”

His next examination with Dr. James Andrews is scheduled for March 6 in San Francisco. If the checkup goes well, Livingston said he may possibly start light contact drills.

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But his time to return to the court this season may be running short.

“Nobody has a crystal ball in this situation just because the injury is so complex,” Livingston said. “There’s so many things to deal with and as you start to do new stuff you kind of figure out what works, what doesn’t and what issues come up that nobody really thought of. The window is closing because obviously the season is getting closer to the end. But I’ll be happy with whatever I can get this year. I’m still motivated to come back and play ultimately.”

Even if Livingston was immediately cleared for practice after his March 6 examination and underwent two weeks of full contact drills, only 15 games would remain on the schedule.

He said his main obstacles are defensive sliding and jumping off the floor in quick succession.

“It’s all reaction,” he said. “Reaction is going to be the biggest part because that is the biggest part of my game -- being able to get defenders and opponents off balance, so I’ve got to be able to control my knee when I do, so that there’s no pain.”

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said the team would wait until Livingston, along with injured forward Elton Brand, were cleared for practice before he focused on how they could be restricted in their return.

“Everything is good,” Dunleavy said. “The first time I’m going to have to start focusing on them is once they are cleared to practice and then I can start giving a little more input on what I think.”

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The Clippers may be going international.

Center Chris Kaman already said he was contemplating playing for the German national team because his great-grandparents are from Germany.

Now, reserve point guard Dan Dickau said the Polish national team has contacted him after learning his great-grandparents are from Poland.

“They found that out and it kind of progressed,” Dickau said. “It would be a great experience and another chance to play a high level of basketball in a different setting.”

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jonathan.abrams@latimes.com


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