Chris Paul’s MRI exam on hamstring is negative, Clippers say
Chris Paul had an MRI exam Sunday on his strained left hamstring that was negative, the Clippers announced.
The team also said that Paul will be listed as day to day, but that the 6-foot All-Star guard is questionable for Monday’s game against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center.
Paul was injured late in the fourth quarter in the Clippers’ victory over the Lakers on Saturday night at Staples Center.
If Paul doesn’t play, Chauncey Billups probably will start at point guard and Randy Foye will move from the bench into the starting shooting guard role.
“Obviously, Chris is a big part of what we do,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “But we had to deal with it and other guys have got to get ready to play.”
Del Negro said the team has other injuries as well.
Backup guard Mo Williams missed Saturday’s game because of a sore right foot and remains day to day.
Williams probably won’t play against the Nets, either.
“I think he felt a little bit better today,” Del Negro said after practice Sunday. “He’ll be reevaluated every day. Obviously, we need him more than ever.”
That’s because Del Negro said Billups’ back is “a little bit tight.”
Billups is expected to play Monday against the Nets.
Clippers forward Brian Cook has a sprained left ankle and is doubtful for Monday night’s game.
“We’ve got some nagging things that we’ve got going on,” Del Negro said. “We’ve just got to work through it.”
With Paul and Williams nursing injuries and with second-year guard Eric Bledsoe still recovering from right knee surgery, the Clippers are expected to sign guard Courtney Fortson to a contract Monday.
Fortson is a 5-11 point guard who was on the Clippers’ training camp roster before he was waived last month.
He averaged 15.9 points and 5.2 assists in 17 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA’s Development League this season.
Fortunately for the Clippers, they still have some depth in the backcourt, but it is starting to wear thin.
Billups has spent most of his career as a point guard and Foye is considered a combo guard.
“We went through some of the stuff we needed to today,” Del Negro said. “Chauncey and Randy will handle point guard duties and we’ll go from there.”
Foye said he spends a lot of time in practice playing point guard, anyway.
Caron Butler probably will play some backup shooting guard, which would put Foye as the point man.
“Yeah, probably, with some of the guys being out,” Foye said. “It looks like I’m going to have to play a lot of ‘one,’ I guess, until Mo gets ready to come back. But even then, I’ll probably still have to play some just to take the ball out of Chauncey’s hands, bring the ball up, get into sets and get him coming off screens.”
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