Grant Hill out at least two weeks

Updated: October 25, 2012, 12:17 AM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Grant Hill will miss at least two weeks with bone bruises in his right knee, meaning he'll be sidelined for at least the first week of the regular season.

"It'll be about two weeks," Hill said before getting treatment before the Clippers' exhibition game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. "They'll look at it again in two weeks."

Hill last played Oct. 14 when the Clippers beat the Miami Heat 99-89 in an exhibition game in Shanghai. Hill, who had eight points, three rebounds and three assists in the game, said he actually hurt his knee before the trip.

"I kind of tweaked it before we left for China and I played a couple of games in China," Hill said. "It's feeling better. It will be a couple more weeks. We'll see."

Considering Hill hasn't played or practiced since Oct. 14 and simply will be re-evaluated in two weeks, there's a good chance he will be out longer than two weeks. However, he doesn't believe the injury is serious.

"This is nothing," Hill said. "It happens. A few guys are banged up, but the main thing is we have a lot of depth. Regardless of who's suiting up and ready to go when things start for real, we'll go with who we have and hopefully, I'll be back soon. ... I'll be good. It will be all right. They just want to make sure it's all right. They don't want it to linger."

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro decided to sit Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Hill for Wednesday's game.

Paul and Crawford were held out mainly to give them rest as the Clippers play three games in four days, including a back-to-back to finish the preseason. Paul hurt his right thigh in practice on Tuesday, but Del Negro said it wasn't anything major and that he likely would play Thursday night in Denver.

"Chris got hit yesterday in practice with his thigh a little bit, but nothing major," Del Negro said. "But with the back-to-back games, it's an opportunity to get more rest for him. ... If this was a regular-season game, he would play."

Billups, who has been involved in full-contact practice and scrimmaged since the team returned from China, remains out indefinitely. Billups, who had season-ending surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon in February, won't play during the preseason but is hoping to return sometime in November or December.

Odom, like Hill, has not played or practiced since Oct. 14, when he had four points, three assists and two rebounds in 20 minutes against the Heat. He is also dealing with bone bruises in his knees, which is a result of coming into training camp overweight.

When Del Negro was asked what he would tell those who have said Odom is not in shape, he simply smiled.

"He's not. They're right," Del Negro said. "You tell the people that they're absolutely right, but he knows that, we know that and he's working every day. He was trying to battle through this injury but it got to a point where it wasn't making sense, so that's when we tried to change the process for him. He knows he needed to be in better shape coming in and then he tried to tax his body a little bit and this is the result."

Del Negro said there's still a chance Odom could play in the regular-season opener Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

"Lamar is probably ahead of Grant," Del Negro said. "He's working every day right now and he's feeling good. We'll see how he feels in Monday and Tuesday's practice and see where we are for Wednesday."

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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