Austin Rivers Injury: Updates on Clippers Guard's Ankle and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Clippers' Austin Rivers dribbles against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers left Dec. 19's game against the Houston Rockets after suffering an ankle injury. However, he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Rivers Active vs. Wizards

Monday, Dec. 28

Rivers confirmed he would be available against Washington after feeling "good enough to play" after a morning workout, per Rowan Kavner of the team's official website.

Coach Rivers Comments on Son's Ankle Injury

Monday, Dec. 21

"Trainers were initially saying he'd be out two weeks, but he's making good progress and should be back sooner," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said regarding Austin's status, per Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times

Rivers Sprains Ankle vs. Rockets

Saturday, Dec. 19

Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reported Austin Rivers will likely undergo an MRI on his sprained ankle.

Doc Rivers said the initial fear was a torn Achilles, but now it looks like a second- or third-degree sprain, per Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.

Woike noted the injury "didn't look good" when the guard went down on a non-contact play after taking a jumper.

Rivers Turning into Key Cog for Clippers 

In his fourth NBA season, Austin Rivers is in the midst of a pivotal season for his professional future. He joined his father, who doubles as the Clippers' coach and president of basketball operations, last season after two-and-a-half lost years in New Orleans.

The former first-round pick has drawn consistent criticism and mockery from fans and NBA experts, some of whom see Rivers' playing time as a form of nepotism. Still, Rivers has emerged as a vital member of the rotation, backing up Chris Paul and playing as a combo guard. Rivers spoke to Jonathan Abrams of Grantland about his development in October:

I was just myself. I stopped thinking. I stopped trying to show everybody I could play. I don’t need to show anybody anything. Just go be myself, and if I do that, then I can really show how good of a player I can be. I almost was mad at myself. I was so pissed that for the past two years, I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself, just for no reason.

Rivers was averaging 7.2 points and 1.3 assists heading into Dec. 19. He signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract during the offseason with a player option for 2016-17. His performance and health this season will prove critical regarding that option, as he could become a 24-year-old unrestricted free agent during a cap boom if he shows improvement.


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