The already shorthanded Clippers may be without another body because forward Tobias Harris has the flu.
Harris stayed at the team’s hotel and didn’t participate in the Clippers’ shoot-around Tuesday morning in preparation for an important game against the Minnesota Timberwolves later at Target Center.
“The trainers called me this morning and said there may not be a Tobias tonight,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “They said, ‘He’s really sick. Let’s keep him at [the hotel] and see what happens.’”
Rivers is not sure who would start if Harris can’t play.
The Clippers already are down forward Danilo Gallinari, who didn’t make the four-game trip because of a non-displaced fracture of his right hand. The team is not sure when he’ll return.
Guard Avery Bradley had surgery last week for an abductor and abdominal injury that is supposed to sideline him for five weeks.
Guard Pat Beverley is out for the season after having right knee surgery.
So when Rivers told his coaching staff about Harris being sick, all of them paused. The Clippers are in an intense struggle to keep their playoff dreams alive. They are the ninth seed in the Western Conference, two games behind the eighth-seeded Timberwolves.
“When I came downstairs, the first thing I told my coaches, ‘No Tobias,’” Rivers said. “They said, ‘What do you mean no Tobias?’ I said, ‘Well, he’s sick.’ All of their heads went down. My whole thing was, ‘Guys, what’s new and we’ve just got to keep rolling.’ There’s nothing you can do about it.
“There’s no way I can control it. If he doesn’t play, it’s an opportunity to steal a game. That’s not a lost opportunity. I look at it the exact opposite way. Obviously that would brutal if he doesn’t play. But it is what it is.”