|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Paul addressed the media for the first time since separating his right shoulder last week and said he's not worried about the Los Angeles Clippers in his absence.
"I'm not worried about us," Paul said. "That's the thing about our team, since training camp; we've done everything in case somebody goes down."
Paul suffered a separated right shoulder in the third quarter of the Clippers' win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday when he crashed to the floor after being fouled by Dallas guard Monta Ellis. Paul, who underwent an MRI exam Sunday, will not need surgery and is expected to miss up to six weeks.
I woke up yesterday and was done feeling sorry for myself. I got to approach the rehab and get back as soon as I can.” -- Chris Paul
"I want to play," Paul said. "And I need to play. I'm blessed. It could have been worse. I'm glad that it isn't what it could have been and I'm grateful and thankful for that but now it's all about attacking the rehab."
Paul said he will be with the team at games and practices during his rehab and is expected to be back on the court before the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans on Feb. 16.
"I'm cool. It's one of those situations where it could have been worse," Paul said. "I woke up yesterday and was done feeling sorry for myself. I got to approach the rehab and get back as soon as I can."
"A lot of my friends and family reached out to me and things like that and everybody is like, 'it's OK you're going to come back stronger and tougher,' but I'm one of those people that right now, it's not all right. I want to play and I feel like I need to play. You just want to be out there to help your team. Now, it's about doing everything possible to get back."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been talking to Paul since his injury and is trying to get him to see the silver lining in being sidelined for about 20 games.
"The one thing I told him is we can't take this injury back, it happened," Rivers said. "Let's try to look at this as a blessing that you're going to have fresh, great legs for the stretch run. That's the only way you can look at it because there's no other way to look at it."
Darren Collison, who started 47 games last season with Dallas and has started 221 games in his five seasons in the NBA, will be the Clippers' starting point guard while Paul is out. Collison is averaging 8.6 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds this season.
The Clippers may be getting some help in the form of inured players returning to the court. J.J. Redick, who suffered a fracture in the small bone of his right hand and a tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament on Nov. 29, shot with the team on Monday and is expected to return soon. Redick was expected to miss six to eight weeks. Reggie Bullock, who suffered a sprained left ankle on Dec. 7, shot as well and could return as early as next week.
"[Redick] shot. He looked OK," Rivers said. "He'll get there but I don't know how soon, but the fact that he's shooting is a good sign. Reggie shot and went through shootaround today as well so that was good. They're both close, very close, but that doesn't mean they play Wednesday or Friday. But it means they're both close."
The Clippers, who waived guard Maalik Wayns on Sunday, signed former Los Angeles Lakers guard Darius Morris to a 10-day contract before Monday's game against the Orlando Magic.
It could be the first of several moves the Clippers make this week. The team is considering cutting Stephen Jackson, who was signed last month while Matt Barnes and Bullock were sidelined, to make room for another player.
"I don't know yet," Rivers said when asked if Jackson would be with the team past Tuesday. "That's why we're looking so hard, because we have 10 days. The 10-day contracts are nice because you can bring guys in and out and evaluate."
One of the players the Clippers are interested in bringing in is Hedo Turkoglu, who was cut by the Orlando Magic on Friday and cleared waivers. Turkoglu hasn't played this season and played in only 11 games last season because of injuries and a 20-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"I just like him as a player," Rivers said. "I think he's out there and we should look at him. I've always liked him. He can play three and four. It's a position that we can use in some ways so we're looking."