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In a setback for an oft-injured Clippers roster that had just begun to get healthier, starting guard Patrick Beverley is out indefinitely after fracturing his left hand during the win against Phoenix on Thursday and undergoing surgery Friday, the team announced before its game against Houston.
The surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center repaired the fourth metacarpal on his left hand, an injury he sustained in the fourth quarter when he attempted to grab an offensive rebound brought down by Suns guard Chris Paul. Beverley immediately looked at and shook the hand but initially waved off coach Tyronn Lue when asked if he was all right, Lue said Friday.
Less than a minute later, Beverley was ejected for contact deemed excessive by officials when fouling Paul. It was when Beverley returned to the locker room that the injury was realized, Lue said. Beverley, who had returned to the lineup only Tuesday after missing 12 games because of a knee injury, will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks, the team said.
“It's just tough because Pat is such a hard worker, did all the right things to come back and get back to play, to get back to action, and for this to happen the second game back, it's just tough to see,” Lue said. “But we're going to hold the fort down until he gets back, next-man-up mentality.
“I'll continue to check on Pat every day. I talked to him earlier, so it's just tough to see somebody go through that, but he's a warrior and he'll be back, you know, as soon as he can.”
The postseason begins in 43 days, which could give Beverley time to recover and return before the Clippers’ final regular-season game May 16. But “there is no immediate timetable for Beverley’s return,” the team said in a statement.
The Clippers' 113-103 win against Phoenix was only Beverley’s second game since recovering from a right knee injury; the same knee that also forced him to miss eight consecutive games earlier in the season.
“I'm just fortunate to be back and healthy,” he said Tuesday after a win against Portland that marked his return following a three-week absence.
Starting center Serge Ibaka (back) has not played in one month and All-Star Paul George has played through lingering pain because of a bone bruise in his right foot that has led him to miss several games.
The Clippers also will play Houston without Rajon Rondo as a precaution as the team wants the new point guard to heal an injury to his right adductor that has limited him in recent weeks.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.