LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe has been assigned to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League for a two-game rehabilitation assignment and could re-join the team for Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, the team announced Thursday.
Bledsoe has been sidelined all season after undergoing surgery Oct. 7 to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. The injury occurred during an offseason workout.
“Eric has reached the point in his rehab where playing in a game setting is the final step in satisfying his return to play criteria,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey said in a statement. “If he performs as expected for Joe Resendez, our assistant trainer and Howard Eisley, our player development assistant, who will both accompany him on his assignment for the Jam’s next two games, we anticipate him rejoining our team for our trip to Denver this Saturday.”
After Bledose made it through his first full practice of the season Tuesday, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Bledsoe would be sent down before making his season debut.
“We want him to get some experience and get his mind right and get some flow to the game because we don't have any practices or chances for him to get out and play,” Del Negro said. “He was out there practicing today for the first time in a while and it was good to see him. He just has to build it up. We want to be smart about it. He needs some game minutes under his belt before we throw him out there with us.”
Bledsoe, who averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 22.7 minutes in 81 games played last season, has said he has been ready to get back on the court as soon as he was cleared by the team.
“I feel real good,” Bledsoe said last week. “They could clear me right now and I could go out there and play like I never was hurt.”
Arash Markazi is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLA.com.
Follow Arash Markazi on Twitter: @ArashMarkazi