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Austin Rivers’ Achilles tendon injury deals Clippers another setback

By in Press Enterprise on December 30, 2017

By Elliott Teaford

The Clippers will never be whole again this season. After all, Patrick Beverley underwent season-ending knee surgery Nov. 22, and that makes it impossible to get everyone who played on opening night on Oct. 19 back on the floor again in 2017-18.

They had the next-best thing for two-plus quarters of their victory Friday over the Lakers at Staples Center. Blake Griffin was back on the court after sitting out for 14 games because of a sprained left knee and Wesley Johnson was in the lineup again after sitting out five games with a sore left foot.

Danilo Gallinari was on the bench, wearing a sharp suit and cheering on his teammates as they rolled to a wire-to-wire victory over the Lakers, their fifth win in six games. Gallinari is expected back in the lineup from a torn glute muscle sooner rather than later.

Then it happened.

Another one went down and out with an injury.

Austin Rivers suffered a strained right Achilles tendon in the third quarter Friday and he’s unlikley to play Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets. He left the Clippers’ locker room with the aid of crutches and didn’t stop to speak with reporters.

Rivers scored 13 points before he was injured, including 10 on 4-for-6 shooting in the first quarter, when the Clippers built leads of 9-0, 19-3 and 22-5 en route to a 35-22 advantage by the end of the opening period and an eventual 121-106 victory.

If nothing else, the Clippers should be used to playing shorthanded. They have been doing it since Milos Teodosic suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot in the second quarter of the second game of the season. Teodosic has since returned to the lineup, but the Clippers are still incomplete.

Every time it looks as if the Clippers have weathered the worst, another player […]    

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