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Steve Clifford to Return to Hornets Tuesday

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Following a medical leave of more than a month, the Charlotte Hornets’ Steve Clifford will return to coach his team starting Tuesday at practice, the Hornets announced Thursday night.

The Observer first reported Thursday that Clifford has been cleared to return to work. He has been out since Dec. 4, when associate head coach Steve Silas took over. Previously, Clifford’s health condition was undisclosed. However, a source confirmed to the Observer that Clifford has been suffering from severe headaches, a condition that predates this season.

Clifford will address the media Friday midday at Spectrum Center. His first game back will be Wednesday night, at home against the Washington Wizards.

Clifford has been out since the morning of a Dec. 4 home game against the Orlando Magic. The Hornets were 8-13 before Clifford’s departure, and are now 16-24.

Source: Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer

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Jazz Forward Thabo Sefolosha Opts for Knee Surgery on MCL

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The Utah Jazz say starting forward Thabo Sefolosha has opted to have right knee surgery to repair an avulsion of his MCL.

The procedure will take place Wednesday. The Jazz did not offer a timetable for his return.

Source: ESPN

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Sources: Cavs Players Concerned About Current State of Team

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Following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 118-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, multiple players acknowledged growing discontent and a strong sense of concern that unlike past seasons, the team does not have the capability to fix its problems and get back on a championship track.

Several prominent players, speaking on condition of anonymity to ESPN, Cleveland.com and The Athletic, expressed doubt that the problems — an aging roster, defensively challenged personnel and a glut of redundant role players — could simply be worked out through patience and a chance to coalesce when fully healthy.

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Lakers’ Lonzo Ball Likely Out vs OKC For Wednesday

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Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is unlikely to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday because of a sore left knee, but Brandon Ingram is expected to return from an ankle injury.

“He got treatment,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said of Ball on Tuesday. “He’ll get treatment again later today, but it’s still just too sore for him to get on the basketball court. Technically, he’s questionable. But he didn’t practice today, so I wouldn’t expect him to play [Wednesday].”

Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN

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