CLEVELAND -- The Los Angeles Clippers were bitten by the injury bug before hitting the road for two weeks. Things got worse on Saturday.
Rookie forward Reggie Bullock, who was playing extended minutes in the absence of Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick, went down with a left ankle sprain early in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 88-82 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
X-rays on Bullock’s ankle came back negative but he’ll be evaluated further on Sunday. Bullock was wearing a walking boot on his left leg after the game and said trainers told him that it’s probably a high ankle sprain. No timetable was given, but high ankle sprain are known to sideline players for about a month or so.
“I tried to go to the boards to get a rebound and tried to avoid stepping on a player and came down and twisted my ankle,” Bullock said. “I rolled my ankle as I came down.”
Barnes, who was already supposed to be out two weeks after having surgery to repair a torn retina in his left eye on Nov. 21, had “clean-up” surgery on the eye this week and could be out for two more weeks.
Reddick suffered a fracture in the small bone of his right hand and a tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament. The Clippers announced he’d be expected to miss six to eight weeks before they left for their seven-game road trip on Monday.
The lack of bodies means the Clippers may be in the market for a player to sign soon.
“We would have to look somewhere,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Let’s hope not, but my guess is yes. I don’t know where we’re going to go. If you guys have any names, call me and let me know. I’ll be on the phone tonight with Gary [Sacks] and Gerald [Madkins] and Dave Wohl [of the Clippers], and I’m praying they know somebody. We’ll see. You never know.”
A possible candidate currently available is former Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown, a free agent who played for Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry while they were with the Phoenix Suns.
DeAndre Jordan, who suffered a strained right arch in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, didn’t return. But Jordan and Rivers didn’t think it would prevent him from playing next week.
“I was going to put D.J. back in, but the way he walked to the table I don’t know,” Rivers said. “He was limping so I thought that wouldn’t be a good idea. I think he’ll be fine in the short run.”
Jordan said he thought he could have returned to the game but understood Rivers’ decision and hopes to play in the Clippers’ next game on Monday in Philadelphia.
“I just wanted to help us anyway I could, but at the end of the day it’s Doc’s decision,” Jordan said. “He’s going to make the decision he feels is going to help our team. He wants to win just as bad as we do, but I’m walking so I feel good.”