Coach says Baron Davis will face Spurs … maybe
Bodies, especially ones in motion, don’t heal on schedule.
Which is why Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro is usually reluctant to circle a date on the calendar, projecting the return of any of his legions of injured players.
Thanksgiving had been loosely discussed as a possible return date for injured point guard Baron Davis. But that day passed and the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone.
So it was a bit surprising when Del Negro answered the (almost) daily question about injuries, saying Tuesday: “Baron will play tomorrow.”
Davis last played significant minutes a month ago and fell by the wayside with an injured left knee, save for a 10-minute cameo at New Orleans on Nov. 9.
His return to the lineup has been a moving target. So maybe that’s why Del Negro clarified things a couple of seconds later about the possibility of Davis playing against San Antonio on Wednesday.
“I should say this: I want to see how Baron feels [Wednesday] after today’s practice … and I’ll make that decision,” he said, noting it was the first practice Davis had gone full out in a long time.
Players aren’t the best judges of projecting a return from injury, either. Center Chris Kaman, who has been out three weeks because of a sprained left ankle, had first hoped to return Thanksgiving and then Wednesday against the Spurs. That won’t be happening.
“Overly optimistic would be the perfect definition of Chris,” Del Negro said.
“He’s sick of talking about it and he wants to be out there. But he’s got to work through it so he can move a bit better.”
At least the Clippers had enough players to scrimmage, unlike Monday. Reserve big man Jarron Collins returned, a day after his daughter Valentina was born. “You realized how blessed you are,” said Collins, who reported that mother and daughter were resting comfortably.
Guard Randy Foye (strained left hamstring) did not practice, as expected.
Del Negro spoke about the increased options once the injured guards and Kaman get healthy.
“With Eric Gordon and [Eric] Bledsoe and Randy Foye, when he’s healthy, and Baron Davis, we can play a three-guard [lineup] and have a little different look,” Del Negro said.
“We haven’t even had a chance to do that since day one because of all the things we’ve been dealing with.”