The Clippers have their star point guard back at practice, as Chris Paul was cleared to participate on Monday. Paul underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb at the end of August, and was expected to miss eight weeks. Six weeks later, he is ready for full contact, the team reported Monday night.
Paul was injured while practicing with Team USA in preparation for the Olympic games. He still started all eight games for the American squad on the way to a gold medal in London.
The seventh-year veteran averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game in his first year with the Clippers. He finished third in the MVP voting and led the team to a second-round playoff trip. Paul was acquired in a four-player trade that brought him to Los Angeles from the New Orleans Hornets. He provided instant improvement for a team that finished 30-52 the season before.