Billups out; Bledsoe, Turiaf return

March, 23, 2013
3/23/13
7:23
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Ronny Turiaf will return to the lineup Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets while Chauncey Billups will be held out.

This is the second game Billups has missed since suffering a right groin strain last Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings. Bledsoe has missed the past five games with a sore left calf. Turiaf has missed the past three games with a sore right knee.

All three players returned to practice Friday, but Billups did not participate in contact drills and is still listed as day-to-day.

Billups has played only 19 games this season while battling through a variety of injuries, but he said his groin strain wasn't serious and he could be back on the court for Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, which will have given him a week off.

Bledsoe's injury and recent absence have been two of the reasons the Clippers' bench has struggled and the Clippers have lost four of their past eight games.

“Eric is very athletic, and he has very good instincts out there so he speeds the tempo up a little bit,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We’ll see how he feels out there. He’s only had one practice, but his athleticism is eye-catching when he’s out there and gets going.”

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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