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Clippers news: Milos Teodosic 2-3 games away from return

LOS ANGELES – The LA Clippers will be getting their small forward back in Danilo Gallinari in a the next game or two, but they’ll also be getting another key piece to their backcourt back in a couple games as well. Point guard Milos Teodosic, easily the best playmaker on this Clippers’ team, has been out with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot since the second game of the NBA regular season.

Before Tuesday’s practice session, head coach Doc Rivers said Teodosic is ahead of schedule when it comes to his recovery and is less than a handful of games away from a return to the court.

“Milos will be able to go all, but no contact,” said Rivers of his participation in today’s practice session. “Probably 2 or 3 games away but he’s close as well. He’s ahead of schedule which is good. It’s a relief when they’re on the floor. Until they’re on the floor, it’s no relief. It’s nice. At least you can see the light at the end of the tunnel [which is] getting a couple guys back.”

After spending years contemplating a jump to the NBA, Teodosic, widely regarded as the best point guard in Europe, left his second career game in the league against the Phoenix Suns after stepping on an opposing player’s foot and collapsing to the floor with the plantar fascia injury. Now, after missing the last 20 games, there could certainly be an adjustment period for the Serbian guard.

“Milos just plays basketball and we’re going to put him in a position to do that,” added Rivers. “We can’t expect them (Teodosic and Gallinari) to miss this amount of games and walk in and score 30 and be great but they do give us knowledge and skill.”

Gallinari practiced with Teodosic last night with the AC Clippers in Playa Vista, scrimmaging 3-on-3’s as well as 5-on-5’s, and while he said he was nearly back at 100%, Gallo did have some good things to say about his teammate in the workouts.

“[He looked] good,” said Gallinari. “He’s very close on getting back I think. He did great yesterday, he’s getting back in his conditioning and everything. He’s been feeling very good.”

Teodosic has already been ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but could return Saturday afternoon against the Washington Wizards, Monday night against the Toronto Raptors, or Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic. Right now, a return Saturday night seems unlikely. There’s a special event being held at Staples Center for the Clippers’ against the Raptors as fans will be receiving a Milos Teodosic Jedi Knight Bobblehead. There won’t be a better night for Teodosic to return than a night celebrating his bobblehead night, but it surely won’t have any affect on the Clippers’ decision to bring him back.