Paul, Billups might return by week's end

The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping they will get Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups back at some point this week, but both players will sit out Monday's game against the Washington Wizards.

It will be the eighth straight game and 11th overall Paul has missed this season with a bruised right kneecap.

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 10 games Paul has missed, with the team going 5-5 during that time.

Billups has been out with peroneal tendinitis in his left foot and has played only three games this season.

Both Paul and Billups worked out with the team on Saturday and again on Monday and appear to be inching closer to a return as early as this week, possibly against the Miami Heat on Friday or the New York Knicks on Sunday.

“It’s a daily thing with them,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said on Sunday. “It’s a day-to-day thing right now. Chauncey is feeling better, Chris is feeling better, but there’s really no timetable. We want them back as soon as possible, but we have to protect them.”