Friday, May 4, 2012
Caron Butler game-time decision
By Arash Markazi ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Not even a fractured left hand may be able to keep Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler from the NBA playoffs.
Butler, who suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand with 2:38 remaining in the third quarter of Game 1 on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, saw a hand specialist on Thursday in Los Angeles and shot around with the team on Friday, wearing a brace on the hand.
Western Conference Playoffs
Get all the news and commentary on the Grizzlies-Clippers matchup on ESPN.com's matchup page.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Butler, who originally was supposed to be out 4-6 weeks with the injury, would be a game-time decision for Game 3 on Sunday and hasn't ruled out Butler returning at some point this series.
"We got a good report yesterday or as good as you could expect," Del Negro said. "He went through some things today and took some shots and went through some stuff. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Caron is a tough guy; he's a battler. He wants to be out there but we also want to be smart about it. I'll evaluate that tomorrow. It was good to see him out there. I think it gives the guys a good boost. He's such a big part of our team and I give him a lot of credit for even being out there. "
Butler didn't talk after practice but previously had said he wanted to see if there was any way he could play with the injury after missing last year's playoffs with the Dallas Mavericks after knee surgery. Butler was replaced in the starting lineup on Wednesday by Bobby Simmons.
"Caron wants to be out there and we want him out there but we also want to be smart about it," Del Negro said. "It was good to see him out there today but we'll make that decision tomorrow. I'm not ruling him out but he does have a broken hand, so I want to talk to the doctors a little more."