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Paul George “will need more time” but MRI reveals progress with elbow

Clippers star Paul George

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 22: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 22, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

If you were hoping that the latest MRI on Paul George’s elbow would reveal a definitive course of action, well, sorry.

He remains out due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and while it is getting better he is not ready to return, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said (via Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points).

“He’s feeling better, making good progress, but he’s gonna need a little bit more time.”

That’s vague, so Azarly did a little more digging and that didn’t exactly lead to answers.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine George — or Kawhi Leonard, for that matter — returning to the Clippers this season. The Clippers at 31-31 sit a solid eighth in the West, locked into the play-in (five games back of the sixth seed Nuggets), meaning even if they advance they will have an arduous path out of the first round (the Suns or Warriors in the first round). The more likely path forward is to bring everyone back fully healthy next season.

The Clippers are 14-16 since George went out, which is impressive considering how much George meant to the team. He was playing at an All-NBA level before his injury, averaging 27.4 points per game, with 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists a night.