Chris Paul will sit out against Timberwolves

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will sit out Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a bruised right kneecap.

It will be the fifth straight game and eighth overall Paul has missed this season with the injury. Before missing last Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City, Paul started two straight versus Washington and Golden State after sitting out the three games before that.

"Chris just got a bunch of therapy," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said after practice Tuesday. “He just did the elliptical and the machines.”

The five-time All-Star injured his knee with 54 seconds left in the Clippers' 104-101 loss to the Orlando Magic on Jan. 12 when he collided with Orlando guard J.J. Redick.

Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe has started the seven games Paul has missed, with the team going 4-3 during that time. With Bledsoe starting, the Clippers won three straight, lost three straight, and then defeated Portland on Sunday.

"Eric has had some good games for us," Del Negro said. "He's trying to be more of a leader out there. It's a different situation for him starting. It changes our second unit a lot. It changes the complexion of your team, but I think overall Eric has done a good job."

Del Negro had some good news about the possible return of Chauncey Billups, who has been out with peroneal tendinitis in his left foot and has played only three games this season. Billups played three-on-three last week and went through practice with the team on Tuesday.

"Chauncey practiced today and had some contact, which was good," Del Negro said. "It was good to see him out there."

Del Negro said Paul and Billups would not play Wednesday but did not rule out the possibility that one or both players could return during the Clippers’ 14-day, eight-game road trip that begins Wednesday versus the Timberwolves.

"There's a possibility, but I don’t know if that's going to happen," Del Negro said. "It's a day at a time thing and there's no timetable. It was good to have Chauncey out there today. He makes a difference just with his leadership. He seemed pretty good today so we’ll see how he responds."