The story has been the same for the Clippers for most of the year. Take one step forward, two steps back — and then, because of their luck, a stubbed toe or a sprained ankle.
The Clippers got a starter back on the court Monday night, but before the team could celebrate guard Milos Teodosic’s return, another injury stomped out any optimism.
Forward Danilo Gallinari, who played just two games after missing 13 with a strained glute muscle, will be out with another glute injury. This time, a bruise caused from a fall late in the Clippers’ win Saturday is the culprit.
“It’s been this kind of season thus far,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Monday before the Clippers’ game with Toronto. “But things can change. And they are. They keep changing back to somebody getting hurt.”
Gallinari is one of four starters from opening night to suffer injuries this season, joining Blake Griffin (knee), Patrick Beverley (knee) and Teodosic (foot).
Rivers said Gallinari would be out for “a good couple of games.”
Jamil Wilson, who is with the Clippers on a two-way contract, started in Gallinari’s place.
The Clippers acquired Gallinari in a sign-and-trade deal this offseason, essentially signing the forward to a three-year, $65-million contract. He’s averaged 15.3 points per game in his career, though he’s missed at least 19 games in seven of his nine professional seasons before joining the Clippers.
In 11 games with the Clippers this season, Gallinari is averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds.
In what could be a promising sign, Griffin, who hasn’t played in two weeks since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, did go through an on-court workout before Monday’s game with the Raptors.
Griffin’s left knee was heavily protected as he went through on-court shooting drills with Clippers assistant John Welch.
Griffin was jumping and moving without any noticeable limp.
According to a team spokesperson, the timetable for his return has not changed. After suffering the injury, the Clippers announced recovery for Griffin’s injury “could take up to eight weeks.”