Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul will return to action Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers, coach Doc Rivers said after practice Saturday.
Paul has been out since Jan. 3 with a separated right shoulder.
After Paul made it through his first practice with the team since the injury, Rivers declared he was ready.
“He looked great,” Rivers said. “We plan on playing him.”
Paul has been shooting and participating in contact drills for a week but the team had not practiced for more than two weeks.
The Clippers went 12-6 without Paul in the lineup.
“I think it’s going to take Chris some time to get his rhythm back,” Rivers said before practice. “That’s why I am hoping he is healthy and we can play him Sunday, have a practice on Tuesday and play him Wednesday. I think that helps. I think it’s going to take a couple weeks for him to get his rhythm back, no doubt.”
Paul has said he plans to play in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16. Rivers said he was OK with that since the exhibition lacks physical play.
“I like him playing in the All-Star Game, personally,” Rivers said. “I think this is a rare case where he’s ready to play and the All-Star Game is probably the safest venue for him to play. I think it will just be a good thing for him to get up and down. It allows him to go up and down in an NBA game with really good players that don’t play defense in the game so I think that would be very good.”
Paul is averaging 19.6 points and 11.2 assists in 34 games this season.
Also, guard J.J. Redick, who has missed the last two games with a bruised right hip, and forward Hedo Turkoglu, who was out Friday against the Toronto Raptors with bruised right knee, were listed as day to day.
“I personally don’t expect J.J. tomorrow but you never know,” Rivers said. “I know he told me yesterday he was playing on Sunday, but I watched him walk down the hallway leaving the arena and I don’t see him playing tomorrow.”
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