Grant Hill draws closer to his Clippers debut after two pain-free practices

Grant Hill couldn’t say for certain Tuesday whether he would play in the Clippers’ home game Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks. After a light practice Monday and a more strenuous one Tuesday, he made it sound as if it would only be a matter of time before he makes his long-delayed and much-anticipated 2012-13 debut.

Hill and the Clippers will decide after shootaround Wednesday whether he’ll play against the Mavericks or wait until Saturday’s game against the Orlando Magic.

“We’ll see how things are tomorrow,” Hill said. “I’m just kind of day-to-day. … I feel good. Today was a good day.”

Hill hasn’t played since the Clippers’ exhibition trip to China because of a bone bruise in his right knee. A team doctor told him back in October it might be two months before he was sound enough to play. It turned out to be closer to three months.

“It’s just basketball,” he said of finding his role with the Clippers. “I think the main thing is getting your rhythm, your timing back. That takes a little bit of time, a couple of weeks to get your legs in game shape. … I’ve been around. I’ve had different roles.”

Of his knee, Hill said, “The knee feels pretty good. Everything else, the lungs … (hurts).”

When asked why he would put himself through a long recovery process at this stage of his career, the 40-year-old Hill said, “A chance to win a championship. I think you see what we’ve done so far, and I don’t think we’ve even reached our potential yet. You don’t always have these opportunities. I’ve been with it for 19 years, to have a team that has this kind of talent, this kind of depth, this kind of character, I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a situation like this. Once you’re done playing, there’s no looking back. You want to give it everything you can while you are playing.

“This is relatively minor compared to what I’ve been through in the past.”

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