Just in time for their two exhibition games against the Miami Heat in China, the Clippers have announced that Chris Paul has received medical clearance to participate in full-contact basketball activities.
According to Clippers.com’s Eric Patten, the news came before Tuesday morning’s practice in Beijing.
“Chris practiced today pretty much the whole practice that obviously changes things when he’s out there,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He played well. He’s just got to get in better game condition. He’s been out for a while, but there’s no question he’s a factor when he’s out there no matter what kind of shape he’s in.”
Paul has been sidelined since August after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Although he has gradually taken part in team workouts over the last two weeks, he has been limited to walkthroughs and non-contact situations.
“It felt great [to practice],” Paul said. “I actually felt like I was part of the team. I was a little winded out there, but it felt good to get back out there and get in the mix.
“I felt fine because I haven’t done anything for so long. I’m pretty well rested, so I was excited to get out there and play.”
While medically cleared, Paul is not expected to play in Thursday’s game. Still waiting for sources to confirm that this is a move by the Chinese government to get more playing time for Eric Bledsoe.