LA Clippers All-Star Paul George suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will rest the injury for the next three to four weeks prior to a re-evaluation, the team announced Saturday.
There's no clear timetable on a return to play, but the hope is that resting the injury over the next month can provide a pathway to a recovery for George. The Clippers are 17-15 and holding on to the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
George sprained his elbow on Dec. 6 against Portland and rested and rehabbed for two weeks. After returning from the five-game layoff against San Antonio on Dec. 20, George said he wasn't sure if the elbow injury would require maintenance and if it would be something that could lead to him sitting out games periodically down the road.
"It took some hits today, couple stingers," he said after the Clippers lost to the Spurs. "We'll see how it feels tomorrow, not sure it will be sore or not."
George felt good and played against Sacramento on Thursday, but then felt pain in the elbow. "He was just having soreness after the game and so he went to get an MRI and we got the bad news," coach Ty Lue said on Sunday.
Now the Clippers are facing the daunting challenge of still trying to stay competitive and in the playoff hunt with both Kawhi Leonard (ACL) and George out indefinitely. Also, Reggie Jackson is in health and safety protocols, and backup center Isaiah Hartenstein is out with an ankle injury. Marcus Morris Sr. has exited the protocols but still isn't available.
Lue showed last season that he can get the Clippers to exceed expectations despite injuries to key players. But it has been frustrating for Lue to try to navigate this season without a consistent lineup.
Now, Lue will have to move forward without the two stars the franchise landed in the summer of 2019 with hopes of winning a championship.
"No one's going to feel sorry for us, everyone's going through the same thing right now and so our biggest thing is just continuing to build habits and try to win games as best as possible," Lue said.
ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk and Baxter Holmes contributed to this story.