Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari, Avery Bradley recovering slowly from injuries
The LA Clippers are preparing for the biggest part of their season now as every game becomes more and more important. Unfortunately, they’ve had to play without go-to scoring forward Danilo Gallinari and defensive ace at shooting guard in Avery Bradley.
Gallinari has missed the last two games against the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets with a bruised right hand suffered against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in the team’s first game after the All-Star break.
Head coach Doc Rivers said that the Italian was day-to-day and that the team is taking it day by day, but speaking exclusively to ClutchPoints on Wednesday night before the Clippers took on the Rockets, Gallinari did not share as much optimism.
“It hasn’t been getting better the last three days,” revealed Gallinari. “It’s been swollen the whole time. We have another exam tomorrow, so we’ll talk to the doctors and see what’s going on.
“It’s painful, it’s weak and tomorrow after the exam, we can see better if there’s something structurally wrong. Tomorrow is an MRI, but even when I broke my thumb, in the X-ray, nothing came up. And then I did an MRI and the fracture came up, so we’ve got to do the MRI tomorrow and see what’s going on. Hopefully there is nothing going on.”
Gallinari proceeded to show me his hand, which was clearly swollen with some light black and purple spots meshed in with his skin on both sides of his palm.
“It happened when Draymond [Green] fouled me on the pump fake, when he came down,” said Gallinari. “I was going up for the shot and he fouled me. He came down with his elbow right on my hand.
“I can’t really hold anything or tie my shoe, blow my nose, everything pretty much.”
Gallinari is hopeful the MRI scheduled for Thursday night will give him and team both clarity as well as good news as the Clippers will surely need him for the playoff push.
Clippers’ guard Avery Bradley hasn’t played since the All-Star break after re-aggravating a groin injury that’s hampered him since the early parts of the season when he was a member of the Detroit Pistons. After initially being ruled day-to-day with the team seeing how he feels on a daily basis, the decision was made to shut him down anywhere from one-to-three weeks.
“Right now, I’m just rehabbing and taking it day by day,” Bradley told ClutchPoints before Wednesday night’s game. “That’s my focus right now.
“I’m doing a lot of different things. Right now, I’m just doing a lot of different exercises just to try to strengthen different areas.”
The Clippers had a trio of days off where they were able to get some practices in. Bradley was unable to participate, and coach Rivers said surgery was an option for the veteran defensive-minded guard. Bradley himself isn’t ruling it out, but says he as well as the training staff are exploring every option and taking it ‘day by day’ before heading the surgical route.
“Surgery is something that we’re exploring. we’re ot for sure about it yet, Right now we’re just taking it day by day just trying to focus on strengthening everything around it. We just ended up making a decision that it was better for me to sit and try to strengthen everything around it so it’s not an injury that’s going to continue to keep me out of playing.
“I want to be all the way in [not one game in, one game out].”
It sounds like Bradley is aiming to return at some point this season, but only when he’s able to get through practices as well as games without much soreness.
On Wednesday, the Clippers elected not to bring G-League stud Tyrone Wallace on for the remainder of the season after he completed his allotted games as part of his two-way contract. The decision not to bring back Wallace will certainly hurt more if the Clippers don’t get Bradley back this season. Then again, the Clippers can sign him to a deal at any point between now and the end of the regular season.