Doc Rivers: Paul George to miss at least first 10 games recovering from shoulder surgery

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4725/" data-ylk="slk:Paul George">Paul George</a> said at media day that he was targeting a “November-ish” return after a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries. (Getty Images)
Paul George said at media day that he was targeting a “November-ish” return after a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries. (Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George will miss at least the first 10 games of the season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said on Saturday, via USA Today’s Mark Medina.

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George underwent a pair of minor shoulder surgeries this summer, one on his right rotator cuff and another to repair his left labrum. Both injuries impacted him significantly near the end of the season last year when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 29-year-old confirmed at the team’s media in September that he would miss the entirety of the preseason recovering from the injury, and that he was planning to only take part in non-contact drills at training camp.

Though he said he was close to being ready, George was targeting a “November-ish” return. Based on Rivers’ comments on Saturday, George could be first available for their matchup against the Houston Rockets on Nov. 13.

“Honestly, I’m a lot far along ... I’m not 100 percent, but if I had to put a percentage on it, I think I’m about 85, 90-ish,” George said in September. “Not all the way there, still got a little bit of stuff, range and stuff and all that to work through, a little strength to work through. But I’m close. I’m happy where I’m at.”

While fans will have to wait just a bit longer for Georges’ much-anticipated debut alongside Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles, the move to sit him until he’s ready makes sense all around. There’s no need to rush his return, and he’s still not participating fully in team practices yet, either.

George averaged 28 points and 8.2 rebounds last season with the Thunder, his ninth in the league. He was traded to the Clippers for a slew of draft picks just as Leonard signed with the organization in free agency, and has three years left on his four-year, $136 million deal.

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