Paul George injury updates: Clippers star out until NBA Playoffs after knee sprain
Paul George is set to miss the rest of the regular season at least for the Clippers.
Since the Los Angeles Clippers made the biggest splash of the 2019 offseason by acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the franchise have been under the microscope. However, despite the superstar pairing, the biggest story hasn’t been their play but their lack of court time.
Between Kawhi Leonard’s load management and Paul George’s various injuries, the pairing hasn’t spent much time on the court together. It seemed the Clippers were finally getting their entire roster together in time for the playoffs, but unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten again. Paul George will miss the next two or three weeks with a sprained right knee, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
During the Clippers 101-100 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder, George went up for a rebound and came down awkwardly.
Here’s the play where Paul George suffered what appears to be a leg injury. pic.twitter.com/k0JbXyrXvn
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) March 22, 2023
With his leg bent in the wrong direction, it did not look good, and George was helped to the locker room.
Here’s the outlook for the Clippers at the time of George’s injury:
⭐️Currently the 5 seed
⭐️1 1/2 ahead of #7 OKC (who also has 1st rd. swap rights)
⭐️2 1/2 ahead of #11 LAL
⭐️6-11 in games George did not play
at New Orleans
at Phoenix https://t.co/F4peYcHjUv
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 22, 2023
Considering how it looked live and on replays, this is good news. George knows better than most how the injury could have been much worse. George missed an extended amount of time after he injured his leg during the USA Basketball scrimmage in 2014. George, as we know, fully recovered, but it was a long process.
Even though the Clippers are currently in fifth place in the west, they are only 2.5 games up on the 11th-place Lakers. As a result, the west is a very tight race from spot four to spot 12. This will put more pressure on players like Leonard, who will not be able to rest as many games as he has for most of the season.
With the news that he will be re-evaluated in a few weeks, there is hope he can be ready before the playoffs or, at the very least, at some point in the first round. Now they could evaluate him in a couple of weeks and find additional damage that could prolong his rehab, but let’s hope that is not the case and George is back on the court in the near future.
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Shohei Ohtani versus Mike Trout is how the WBC needed to end
In a moment you dream of as a child, Ohtani squares off with Trout to close out the WBC
It was everything you dream of as a young child playing baseball in the backyard.
3-2 count. Two outs. Ninth inning.
And a world championship on the line.
That was what we saw in the ninth inning of the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night. Japan, with a 3-2 lead in the championship game, turned to baseball’s unicorn, Shohei Ohtani, to close out the win.
After leadoff hitter Jeff McNeil worked a walk, daring to lay off a 3-2 fastball just below the strike zone, Ohtani induced a ground ball from leadoff hitter Mookie Betts to erase the walk, and push Japan one out away from a championship.
Standing in Ohtani and Japan’s way?
Ohtani’s teammate in MLB, Mike Trout. One of the game’s best hitters.
Ohtani started Trout with a slider, the pitch he seemed to have the most command of during the inning. But the first pitch slider was low, giving Trout the 1-0 advantage.
That’s when Ohtani turned to his fastball.
He put a 100-mph fastball right down the heart of the plate, and Trout gave it everything he had with his swing. But the ball settled in the mitt of catcher Yuhei Nakamura, evening the count at 1-1.
Trout gave a nod to his teammate before settling in for the next pitch.
This was another fastball from Ohtani that missed outside. Advantage Trout again, at 2-1.
On the next pitch, Ohtani again dialed up the fastball. Another 100-mph heater right down the plate.
Another swing-and-a-miss. Another nod from Trout to his teammate.
With the count now 2-2, what would Ohtani do? Would he go back to the fastball, or try and sneak another slider by his teammate?
Ohtani wanted to punch him out with the heater, and put everything he had into the next fastball. It hit 102 on the radar gun, but bounced low and outside.
3-2. Two outs. Ninth inning. A championship on the line.
And then? The nastiest slider you might ever see:
SHOHEI OHTANI STRIKES OUT MIKE TROUT TO CAP OFF AN INCREDIBLE WBC AND GIVE JAPAN THE TITLE! #WorldBaseballClassic ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/D4aw3K4mnB
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 22, 2023
For good measure, here is the call from Japanese TV:
AS CALLED ON JAPANESE TV: pic.twitter.com/g2KcTBua4B
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 22, 2023
To put Ohtani’s WBC run, and his status as the game’s true unicorn, in perspective, consider these numbers:
Shohei Othani in the World Baseball Classic hit .435/.606/.739 with 4 doubles & a home run. And he had a 1.86 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 9⅔ innings.
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) March 22, 2023
But let’s return to the ending.
The at-bat, and the battle between MLB teammates, delivered the kind of moment WBC organizers were dreaming of, capping off a tremendous tournament. Since its launch in 2006, the WBC has not been without criticism. Whether the timing of the event — and the injuries that we have seen in this year’s installment — as well as the need for the event itself, the WBC has seen its share of critics.
But on Tuesday night, the WBC delivered everything its organizers and proponents imagined. Two of the game’s best players, staring each other down, in the ninth inning with everything on the line.
The kind of moment you dream of as a child, now on a global stage.