Grant Hill expects to make his season debut in January. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Veteran forward Grant Hill expects to make his season debut with the Los Angeles Clippers in January, though a firm date is still not certain.
Hill has been dealing with a bone bruise in his right knee that has kept him from practicing with the team since exhibition games in the preseason. At 40 years old, he is the second oldest active player in the NBA, behind Kurt Thomas of the New York Knicks.
For now, he is ramping up workouts, including sprinting on the treadmill for 30-minute intervals, but according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, a specific game obviously won't be determined until he returns to practice.
So Hill was asked what date he has in mind to play. "Sometime in January," is all Hill would say. "Hopefully soon I'll get to start practicing a little bit," he said. "They are stressing that a lot of it is how you respond. So a target date could be sooner, it could be later. You want to let your body dictate that."
The Clippers had been faring well with their current roster, despite injuries to Hill and veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, 36, who has missed all but three games this season with tendinitis in his left foot. According to the report, head coach Vinny Del Negro said that Billups is not as far along in his rehab as Hill. Despite injuries to their veteran leadership, the Clippers managed to win 17 straight games dating back to Nov. 28 before falling to the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 1.