The Clippers announced Sunday that guard Chris Paul will be sidelined for up to six weeks after sustaining a separated right shoulder during L.A.'s 119-112 road victory over Dallas on Jan. 3. An MRI revealed that Paul suffered a grade 3 AC joint separation, but the injury will not require surgery.
A six-week absence would sideline Paul for L.A.'s next 19 games and could keep him off the court until the All-Star break. Paul, a 2013 All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team selection, is on track to be a starter for the 2014 Western Conference All-Star team, a recognition that is voted on by the fans. The 2014 All-Star Game is set for New Orleans on Feb. 16.
During his post-game comments Friday, coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Paul was expected to miss three-to-five weeks with the injury, pending further evaluation.
The six-time All-Star sustained the shoulder injury with 6:43 remaining in the third quarter and the Clippers leading 77-75. As he turned the corner at the top of the key to attack the basket off the dribble, Paul was fouled by Monta Ellis and he tumbled hard to the court. Laying on the ground on his back for some time, Paul held the top of his right shoulder in pain as the Clippers took a timeout so that trainers could attend to him. He departed with 19 points (on 5-for-8 shooting), six assists and three rebounds in 22 minutes.
Rivers will turn to reserve point guard Darren Collison in Paul's absence, and Jamal Crawford is also capable of taking on some of the ball-handling duties.
Paul, 28, is averaging 19.6 points, a league-leading 11.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. His 27.7 PER ranks No. 4 in the NBA and is tops among point guards.
L.A. sits atop the Pacific Divison with a record of 23-13.