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MRI shows plantar fascia injury for Clippers’ Milos Teodosic

The LA Clippers have gotten off to a 2-0 start to their season, winning by a combined 58 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in their season opener and the Phoenix Suns in their home opener. On Saturday night, however, the team had an injury scare when starting point guard Milos Teodosic went down opposite the Suns’ bench and immediately grabbed at his left foot.

The Serbian guard was unable to put any weight on his foot, having to be helped up and carried off the floor into the Clippers locker room by head athletic trainer Jasen Powell and his teammates. X-Rays were immediately done and came back negative, and he was scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday morning. The MRI results are in and Teodosic has been diagnosed with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot and he will be out indefinitely, the team announced on Sunday.

Milos Teodosic, Clippers

Jae C. Hong/ Associated Press

“I didn’t [see what happened], I just saw him laying down,” said head coach Doc Rivers immediately after the game with Teodosic status uncertain. “He just said he felt something in his foot, but we don’t know what it is. He was in crutches [after the game]. Milos is never in bad spirits. He’s down because obviously he came here to play basketball, not to get injured.

“He doesn’t go down like that, so my first thought was something really bad happened. That’s not Milos. Milos plays through about everything, so I was thinking a lot. We’re going to have to activate Jawun [Evans], and we’re down to three veteran guards.”

Teodosic was able to play 11 minutes and contributed five points with two assists on 2-3 shooting from the field before coming down with the injury. The team’s leader in assist percentage through the first two games and second in assist-to-turnover ratio, the 30-year old Teodosic has a combined 11 points, eight assists, and three turnovers.

After playing 13 minutes in the first half, guard Austin Rivers played just under 20 minutes in the second half following Teodosic’s injury. He finished the game with just five points, three rebounds, and four assists, but had the highest +/- on either team with a +35. With Lou Williams (18 points, six assists) continuing to be effective as the scoring and facilitating Sixth Man off the bench, Rivers will now likely be relied upon to enter the starting unit and contribute until Teodosic can return.

“I’ll probably start now, but that doesn’t really change anything,” said Austin Rivers after the game. “It’ll be the same amount of minutes, so I guess instead of sitting those first few minutes, [I’ll come in earlier]. I’ve been coming off the bench really early, so I don’t know how much change it is. Either way, whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it.”

The younger Rivers backed up his coach’s comments in saying that to him, Teodosic didn’t seem down after the game either. Many speculated that his injury might have been Achilles related, so Teodosic and the team are fortunate there.

“I didn’t see what happened, but I hope he’ll be back soon,” Rivers added. “It looked like he was in high spirits after the game. Looked like he was fine, but we’ll see with the MRI tomorrow.”

Listed as a 30-year old rookie, Teodosic has played professional basketball throughout Europe, mainly with CSKA Moscow and his Serbian National Team, since 2004. Unfortunately, the Clippers are no strangers to injuries over the last couple of seasons, so the core already has the “next man up” mentality instilled in themselves in case something like this happens.