Injury updates

Just got done speaking with Baron Davis, Tim Thomas and Marcus Camby and the latest is, all are trying to get back for the season opener against the Lakers on October 29, but no one is definitively ruling themselves in.

Thomas actually, is ruling himself out of Friday’s exhibition finale, saying he wants to be a little cautious with the injured groin which has caused him to miss all but one exhibition game.

Of the three, it sounded as if Thomas was the closest to returning, followed by Davis and then Camby.

Camby said he’s going to get a cortisone shot on his injured right heel Friday morning in the hopes it helps to control some of the pain and allows him to get a few practices in before opening night.

“I probably still need a couple more weeks of healing, but the time right now is not on my side with the season approaching in five or six days so I’m trying to do everything possible to get back out on the court,” Camby said.

When I asked whether it was possible he’d sit out a couple more weeks, Camby said, “No. I’m long overdue. I’ve been wanting to get out there on that court for some time now. I definitely want to get out there opening night.”

And if not opening night, what are the chances of Camby playing in the October 31 game against Denver?

“It’s a great chance,” he said. “ A lot of people are going to hype that game to be a revenge game or something like that, but honestly I’m just looking forward to seeing the guys again. They’re the guys I been with the last six years and we developed lifelong bonds, so just being out there on the court is going to be like reminicent of being in practice with those guys, so it’s nothing against the team at all.”

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Clips workout Lindsey Hunter

By Ramona Shelburne
Staff Writer

So just how serious were the Clippers’ contingency plans if the diagnosis on Baron Davis’ sprained left ring finger came back negatively? Apparently, serious enough to have free agent guard Lindsey Hunter in for a workout this week.

“We worked him out and he looked great,” Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said. “He’s in great shape, and a good veteran guy.”

Now that the Clippers have official word that Davis should only be out another week and doesn’t need surgery, it’s unlikely they’d sign Hunter, who won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2001-02 and Detroit in 2003-04.

For his career, Hunter has averaged 8.8 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals. He’s been a key reserve for Detroit since 2003.

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Suns 86, Clippers 69

Ugh, that was ugly. Did the three games in four days finally catch up to the Clippers?
Or is Phoenix really that serious about playing better defense this year?

Phoenix coach Terry Porter could’ve taken some credit. After all, isn’t that he was brought to town to do? But Porter wasn’t about to take too much credit:

“I don’t know if was as much of our defense as bad offense, or both. Both teams had some bad stretches,” Porter said. “For a while, I think both of us had only scored about 68 points before we went on a little spurt.”

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy wasn’t happy either.

“The effort wasn’t good. Our intensity wasn’t as good as we needed it to be. When a team get the opportunity to roll you, they will,” Dunleavy said.

Now for some of the gory details:

The Clippers shot just 33.8 percent for the night, Phoenix shot 44.6 percent. From behind the 3-point arc, it was positively horrific. L.A. made just 1 of 12 shots, Phoenix made 2 of 14. About the only place either team could hit anything was at the free throw line, where the Clippers shot 71.4 percent and the Suns hit 72 percent

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News and notes…

The Clippers formally announced what was merely a formality this afternoon, when they picked up the option for next year on second-year forward Al Thornton’s contract. That was pretty much a given considering Thornton was on the All-Rookie team last year and has the makings of a future All-Star…

Also, coach Mike Dunleavy intimated that a decision on final roster cuts would be made by Thursday or Friday of this week…

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Baron Davis: Out one week

Just got word that Baron Davis is expected to resume all basketball related activities in one week. Davis visited UCLA hand specialist Dr. Roy Meals on Monday and was diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left ring finger. He will not require surgery. The finger will be splinted and is expected to heal on its own.

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The latest on BD

There was a mild breakout of panic when a couple of reports hit the internet last night, saying that Baron Davis could miss 4-6 weeks if his finger injury requires surgery.

I posted a blog about the situation last night, after talking to several players, coaches, and Baron’s agent about the situation and at that point, the general consensus was that it a minor injury and Davis would probably miss this week’s exhibition games, but would be ready to roll for the start of the season.

So what’s the real story?

Well, the 4-to-6 week estimate is a worst-case scenario. Davis is seeing Dr. Roy Meals at UCLA this afternoon and we’re expecting to hear the results later on today. But most of the people we spoke with today, including coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy, felt the more likely scenario would be a three-week recovery period. That’s three weeks from the actual injury, which was last Friday, October 17.

“I’m not a doctor, but that’s not my impression of the case,” Dunleavy said, when asked if he expected Davis to miss an extended period of time. “I don’t want to influence a doctor, but off of what I’ve heard, it was very minor and he needed to see a specialist.

“It’s more than likely be anywhere from under three weeks, splinted or whatever, and depending on pain tolerance, maybe sooner.”

In other words, officially cross Davis out of this week’s exhibition games, but a return the first week of the season is still a possibility.

As for that worst-case scenario, Dunleavy didn’t really want to consider it, but if it did come to that, here’s what he’d do.

“We’d have to start thinking about a third guard in case someone got in foul trouble or injured,” Dunleavy said. “We’d probably try Eric (Gordon) there some as well.”

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What are the chances?

What are the chances that Baron Davis, Marcus Camby and Tim Thomas all miss the rest of the exhibiton season? Pretty high actually. Camby (bruised right heel) admitted Sunday that his new goal is to be ready to go in the season opener against the Lakers on October 29. Davis (sprained finger) was rather wishy-washy when I asked if he’d be back next week: “Something like that … we’ll have to play it by ear.”

Of the three, Thomas (groin) seems the closest to returning, but a groin injury is the kind of thing you make extra sure of before you come back, because it’s so easy to re-injure.

“Me and BD have been out of the lineup, Tim has been out of the lineup. We never really played a second of the whole preseason together. But after the last game of the preseason, we got like four or five days of practice so hopefully we can get a lot accomplished and be ready to roll,” Camby said Sunday evening after the Clippers exhibition win over FC Barcelona.

The question then becomes whether any of those three players will miss more than the exhibition season. I spoke with several players in the locker room and no one seemed all that concerned about Davis’ injury except Camby, who cryptically mentioned, “I’m pretty sure I’ll be back before BD.”

Davis’ X-rays were negative, but an MRI on Friday was inconclusive so he’s still got to get an opinion from the hand specialist he’ll see Monday, so no one knows for sure yet. Second-year forward Al Thornton seemed more optimistic.

“I think Baron’s going to be ready for that first game,” Thornton said. “He’s gotta be ready: It’s the Lake show, Staples Center, national TV, I think he’s just playin’ with y’all.

“It’s the left hand so he’ll be OK. It’s just his guiding hand.”

So which teammate is more in the know? Hard to say, but Camby’s locker is right next to Davis.’

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