Clippers' Paul George Has Torn UCL in Elbow; Injury to Be Reevaluated in 3-4 Weeks

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 25, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) controls the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will be reevaluated in three to four weeks.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news of George's diagnosis:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

George sprained elbow on Dec. 6, rested and rehabbed for 2 weeks and returned to play vs. Spurs and Kings this week. After he felt pain, testing revealed tear in ulnar collateral ligament. They'll see how elbow responds to rest in next 3-to-4 weeks before determining next steps. <a href="https://t.co/7JezhozHnx">https://t.co/7JezhozHnx</a>

George, 31, has averaged 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game this season.

The six-time All-NBA team member was traded in 2019 to the Clips, where he's teamed up with fellow superstar Kawhi Leonard.

The Clippers had never reached the conference finals in their five-decade history before 2021, but that changed thanks largely to George, who averaged 23.3 points and 6.6 rebounds last year.

He also became the team's unquestioned top star when Leonard suffered a partially torn ACL in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the top-seeded Utah Jazz last spring. 

Despite the loss of Leonard, George led the Clips to wins in Games 5 and 6 to propel L.A. to the conference finals, where they fought hard against the Phoenix Suns before losing in six.

The 2021-22 season has been more of a struggle for the Clips, who still sport a winning record at 17-15 but are a cut below the West's elite tier featuring the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.

PG-13 has played well en route to what appears to be another All-Star campaign, however, and L.A. also looks like it will make the play-in tournament at worst.

George missed his first game of the season on Dec. 1 (rest) against the Sacramento Kings. He then missed five straight games beginning Dec. 8 (right elbow contusion) before returning on Dec. 20 versus the San Antonio Spurs.