The LA Clippers have been hoping to get at least one of their injured stars back from injury. It appears they’re on the cusp of getting one back in the form of Paul George.

After participating in multiple five-on-five practices over the last week, the hope is that Paul George will be able to return to the Clippers lineup Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz.

The seven-time NBA All-Star participated in a full, five-on-five scrimmage on Monday, and will likely have his status upgraded from ‘out’ for tomorrow’s against the Jazz. Paul George is not in the clear just yet, as the final decisions on his status will be made in the hours leading up to the game, starting with a team shootaround in the morning, but the hope is he will suit up for the first time since December 22nd.

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Sports Illustrated’s Farbod Esnaashari also reported the news that George is nearing a return in the near future.

George has gradually been ramping up his activity for the better part of a month following two months of inactivity. Left-handed shooting turned to right-handed shooting. Standstill shooting turned into shooting workouts. The final legs of his rehab were taking contact and participating in five-on-five play, which he has now done multiple times over the last week. Paul George has come out of each practice feeling good and without pain, and the Clippers are hopeful that the forward will be able to return on Tuesday.

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“It would be huge,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said on the potential emotional boost the team gets if Paul George is able to return. “It would be huge and like I always say: hope is stronger than fear. To have the hope that he could come back would be great for our team especially the job our team has done all season long of just playing out of position, doing more than they would normally do on a night-to-night basis but this team has done it so right now we are dragging a little bit and to get a guy like PG back would definitely help us out.”

Paul George last played on December 22, 2021, when the Clippers took on the Sacramento Kings. It was his second game back from the elbow injury which cost him five games. After taking a few hits to the elbow, an MRI was conducted, and it revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

George was to rest for an undetermined period of time, with checkups on the status of his elbow conducted often. In the opening weeks of the injury, there was certainly concern that George could miss the season if his elbow didn’t heal properly or at all with rest. But George has progressed well and the hope is he’ll be ready to return.

Following the Jazz game, the Clippers travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls and Milwaukee to take on the Bucks in what will be a back-to-back set. If George is able to return by then, he’s likely to play in only one of the two games.

George has appeared in 26 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.0 steals on 42.1 percent shooting from the field.