Clippers’ Milos Teodosic still dealing with pain, soreness in left foot
The LA Clippers have had some pretty injury-ravaged seasons over the last couple of years, but this year might trump them all. During Monday morning’s shootaround, head coach Doc Rivers revealed that guard Lou Williams (right foot sprain) and forward Wesley Johnson (left foot soreness) would not play against the San Antonio Spurs, adding themselves to the already lengthy injury list that includes starters Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley, and Danilo Gallinari.
On the other side of things, the Spurs just got star Kawhi Leonard back from injury, and although he’s on a minutes restriction, he already looks to be up to speed in his first two games back.
The good news is that point guard Milos Teodosic, who missed 22 games with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot, will be able to play tonight after being brought along slowly as well as missing one game in the latest back-to-back set against the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. At this morning’s shootaround, Teodosic admitted that although he he has a bit of pain/soreness in his left foot, it’s not something that was unexpected and that he plans to play through it.
“I still hurt,” said Teodosic. “In some moments of the game, I feel pain, but for this type of injury, it’s normal to feel pain. I need conditioning, to get in better shape, but for this [to happen], it will take time.’
Teodosic has played in three of the Clippers’ last four games, averaging 11 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per game, but has struggled shooting at just 31.4 percent from the field and 25 percent from downtown. Although it’s still early in his NBA career, he is coming off of his best NBA game with 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists on a career-high 28 minutes.
Here’s Teodosic speaking about his injury for the first time since returning, via Brad Turner of the LA Times.
“I feel good,” Teodosic said. “But I will feel something for the next two or three months. Yeah, they basically told me this pain is normal for this type of injury. But I will be fine.”
The plan with Teodosic, for now, is that he’ll sit at least one game of a back-to-back set so as to not overwork his body as he works his way back into game shape. Coach Rivers said he wasn’t sure how long this would be done, but said a lot of the resting would be situational.
“I don’t know,” said Rivers on when the resting will end for Teodosic. “It’s not case by case. I do think there’s a time period, I just don’t know what the time period is.
“I would guess that he probably would not play in those,” added Rivers regarding the upcoming back-to-back against the Rockets and Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday. “I think the games prior to that will ddictate that as well.”
The Clippers will get Austin Rivers back after he missed two games going through the NBA’s concussion protocol, and rookie Jawun Evans will likely see some increased playing time. In a career-high 40 minutes on Friday night against the Wizards, Evans put up a monster line of 15 points, six rebounds, six assists, and five steals.
With all these injuries, all the younger Clippers can do is hold down the fort until their veteran guys get healthy again.