LA Clippers’ Paul George ‘trying to figure out’ how to manage toe injury

LOS ANGELES — Paul George said the toe injury he has in his right foot has flared up again and that the LA Clippers are trying to figure out if it will linger the remainder of the season.

George returned on Thursday after missing two games with what was listed as right foot soreness. The Clippers’ All-Star guard shot 5-for-15 and had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the Clippers’ 101-94 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

“It is a day-to-day process, but I’m doing better,” George said after logging 31 minutes.

“We are trying to figure it out now,” George added when asked if this injury could linger this season. “Honestly, we’re trying to get on top of it now. Hasn’t seemed to go away yet. But at this point it is just managing the soreness and swelling.”

George missed seven consecutive games in mid-February because of what was diagnosed as a bone edema injury in his right toe. He said he had difficulty pushing off on the toe injury. He returned and played in 16 of his next 17 games before sitting out two games this week.

George was initially listed as out for the game against Denver on the injury report the day before. But the Clippers upgraded him to questionable on Thursday and he returned after going through his pregame warmup.

George said the injury has impacted his ability to finish on drives. He started off this season strong and was an All-Star. But the toe injury has limited his explosion.

“There really is no pop on the right foot, because I can’t really bend my toe and I had it flexing all the way on that second toe,” he said. “Just figuring it out. I got to figure it out. Most importantly, if I can play and playing with minimal pain, that is what I am going for. But we got to figure it out though.”

The Clippers (32-18) dropped their second straight game after winning six in a row. Like last season, the Clippers have had difficulty developing chemistry and continuity due to constant disruption from injuries, a lack of practice time and not enough consistent time together.

Patrick Beverley has not played in 11 straight games because of a knee injury. Serge Ibaka (back) missed his 10th consecutive game, and Rajon Rondo (adductor) hasn’t played since joining the Clippers in a trade last week.

The team has looked tired and out of sorts the past two games, which finished a stretch that saw it play six games in nine nights.

“I mean, it’s no pity party,” George said. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us because we have guys out. We got to find the way to get the job done, and I think we have been doing that up until the last two games before we had some slippage.”

“Hopefully at some point we will have a full healthy team,” George added. “For us it is just building habits and creating an identity which you always want to do. As well as we have played this year, the identity of this team, we are still trying to solidify that. At some point we got to find who we are and stick to that as a team.”

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Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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