Paul George Rumors: 'Surgery Is a Real Option' for Clippers' Injured Star

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2022

AP Foto/José Luis Villegas

Surgery reportedly remains an option for Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George as he tries to recover from a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the update Tuesday on The Hoop Collective podcast (55-minute mark).

"It's almost like I'm waiting for bad news on Paul George because they just, you know—it sounds like surgery is a real option there, and if he has that, he's done for the year," Windhorst said.

The 31-year-old has been limited by the torn UCL in his right elbow for much of the 2021-22 season. He first suffered the elbow injury on Dec. 6 and missed five games before he returned two weeks later. He lasted just two games before going out again with the injury.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported on Jan. 12 that it was a possibility George could miss the remainder of the season: "While the team's initial announcement on Christmas Day stated George would be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks, the Clippers are operating under the possibility that George may not return this season, sources told B/R."

An update on Jan. 18 stated George would rest several more weeks before being reevaluated, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The absence has hurt the Clippers, as the team is already short-handed while Kawhi Leonard works his way back from a torn ACL suffered last postseason.

It puts more pressure on players such as Reggie Jackson and Terance Mann to pick up the scoring slack in Los Angeles.

When healthy, George remains one of the top two-way players in the NBA. He has averaged 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game through 26 appearances in 2021-22.

The wing was named third-team All-NBA last season after averaging 23.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. He also shot 41.1 percent from three-point range while playing elite on-ball defense on the perimeter.

Though often criticized for his playoff performances, George came through with 26.9 points per game while leading the Clippers to the Western Conference Finals.

If he can return to full strength, Los Angeles could again be a contender in the West, but his status for the remainder of the campaign remains uncertain.


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