Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has revealed that he expects Chris Paul to be back in action against the Philadelphia 76ers this Sunday, finally ending a month-long spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
Paul separated his right shoulder back on January 3rd and has been absent ever since, slowly working his way back towards first-team contention with an intensive rehabilitation programme.
Rivers has been unable to include Paul in full training for the last fortnight because the Clippers have not had a full practice in two weeks, but the ex-Celtics coach believes that following work in contact drills his star playmaker will be ready to return this weekend.
He told ESPN: "He did some one-on-ones today at shootaround and looked pretty good, so I think he’s very close.
"I don’t think he’ll play Friday but he could play after that. He took contact today in one-on-ones, but it’s still not a 5-on-5."
Tonight's clash with the Toronto Raptors will come too soon for the 28-year-old, but if a full practice scheduled for Saturday goes without a hitch expect the Clippers to be back at full strength against the 76ers.
Despite losing Paul for more than a month the Clippers have stayed in strong form, winning six of their last eight games despite falling to a 166-12 defeat to defending champions Miami Heat last night.