There is no formal justification, however replays demonstrate George’s right knee extended too far.
The Los Angeles Clippers are worried about the health of one of its best players, which is concerning for a team that has been waiting all season to prove its championship mettle. In the final minutes of Tuesday night’s 101-100 loss to the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George seemed to suffer a right leg injury. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Wednesday that George would undergo another evaluation for a sprained knee in two to three weeks.
With 4:40 left in the game, George went up to grab a defensive rebound against Thunder guard Luguentz Dort, but his knee appeared to hyperextend as he landed awkwardly on his right leg. He immediately collapsed to the ground, clung to his right knee, and remained there for some time. He was eventually assisted back to the locker room, where he stayed for the remainder of the game.
Below is a video of the injury-causing play:
Although it didn’t look good, Los Angeles must hope that Paul George’s injury is not too serious because a protracted absence for the versatile forward may very well spell the end of the Clippers’ quest for a title. Although it’s improbable that George will play in the last 18 days of the regular season, he might return in time for the first round of the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Clippers are still in fifth place, but with the loss, they are now 38-35 and are currently two games behind the fourth-place Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles is one game ahead of the Golden State Warriors (37-36) for sixth place and one and a half games ahead of the top two play-in teams, the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, both of which are 36-36.
George finished the game with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals in 35 minutes. Additionally, he produced a serious candidate for dunk of the year with a full 360 throw-down, which was especially spectacular given that it occurred in the half court rather than during transition.
George is one of the NBA’s most dynamic two-way players when he’s healthy. Unfortunately, he has had injury problems in the past as well as this season. George shattered two bones in his right leg playing for Team USA in a World Cup scrimmage in August of 2014, but he came back to participate in the remaining six games of the 2014–15 campaign. In addition, a knee ailment earlier this season kept him out for a while, and he was only able to play in 31 games the previous year because of an elbow issue.
Recently, George claimed that he was beginning to feel more like himself while on the floor.
George stated following the Clippers’ March 5 victory over the Grizzlies, “I’m actually able to hoop. “For a very long time, I had trouble planting and pushing off. I do, however, feel fairly fantastic right now. As a result, I feel like I can now perform tasks that I haven’t been able to complete nearly the entire season.