Davis’ injured finger will not require surgery

Dillman is a Times staff writer.

The message landed in Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy’s e-mail in-box Monday afternoon.

Good news.

There may have been more from a certain point guard named Baron Davis, but that was the essential information of the day. Davis will not need surgery for his torn finger ligament and could resume basketball activities in about a week, the team said.

“I told him it was great news,” Dunleavy said. “It’s about as good as I could have hoped for.”

Then, this being L.A., they planned on getting together for lunch this week.

So much for climate of doom and worst-case scenario being tossed around freely about the $65-million man for a few hours. Hold off on that phone call to Jason Williams, trying to talk him out of retirement.


The optimistic timetable means that Davis could be back in time for the Clippers’ opener Oct. 29 against the Lakers. Davis was examined Monday by hand specialist Dr. Roy Meals and tests revealed that he had a partial tear of a ligament in his left ring finger.

“The only good news is if you could pick a finger this could possibly happen to, it’s the best one,” Dunleavy said after practice.

Davis, who suffered the injury Friday when he fell on his hand at practice, will have the finger in a splint until Saturday and then will have it taped for about six weeks.

There had been fears the injury was much worse. Even his teammates weren’t quite sure what was going on.

“I know me and Baron are key guys in what we’re trying to get accomplished here in this organization,” Marcus Camby said Sunday. “But hopefully I’ll be back, well, I know I’ll probably be back a whole lot sooner than BD will be back.”

As it may turn out, Davis and Camby could end up returning at about the same time. Camby, sidelined because of a bruised right heel, ruled himself out for the remaining exhibitions. Dunleavy wasn’t sure Tim Thomas (strained groin) would be back for the final exhibition, Friday against Denver.


Jason Hart and rookie Mike Taylor split time at point guard in Sunday’s exhibition victory and Dunleavy said he would continue to experiment with rookie Eric Gordon at that position.

“There’s only one thing to do,” Dunleavy said. “Go with the guys you’ve got.”

Thornton returning

The Clippers will announce today that they will exercise the third-year contract option on forward Al Thornton.

Thornton averaged 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, and was selected to the NBA’s all-rookie first team.

He will be paid $1.7 million this season and $1.9 million next season.

The Clippers hold the right of first refusal for the fourth year of the contract.