Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George will be reevaluated in two to three weeks after he injured his right knee during Tuesday night’s loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
George was injured as he went up for a rebound in the fourth quarter. Video of the injury appeared to show the 32-year-old forward’s knee buckle inward as he came down hard onto the court.
George went down in a heap and appeared to be unable to put weight on his right leg as he exited the court with the assistance of Clippers staffers.
The Athletic Reported Tuesday night that George left the arena on the back of a cart and was seen using crutches.
Despite fears that George suffered a serious knee injury that would knock him out for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the NBA Playoffs, the team announced Wednesday morning that he suffered a sprained right knee.
The team did not specify the severity of the sprain, but said George would be monitored in the coming weeks and was given a two- to three-week timeline for a possible return. The NBA Playoffs are set to begin on April 15, just north of three weeks from Wednesday.
The Clippers are 38-35 on the season and currently sit in fifth place in the crowded Western Conference. If George misses the remainder of the regular season, the Clippers will have to hold off as many as five teams below them in the standings who are all conceivably within reach of surpassing them in the standings.
If the Clippers fall out of the top six in the Western Conference, they could find themselves in the NBA’s play-in tournament which begins four days earlier than the playoffs, meaning George might still be on the mend while the team tries to secure a spot in the postseason.
Kawhi Leonard, George’s teammate on the wing, was absent from the team in the early portion of the season as he recovered from his own serious knee injury.
Leonard, 31, will likely have to carry a larger role both offensively and defensively while George recovers from his injury. The Clippers are 28-16 in games featuring the two-time NBA Finals MVP.