Marc J. Spears: Just saw injured Rockets guard Chris Pa…

Marc J. Spears: Just saw injured Rockets guard Chris Paul jump into a Maybach outside the Toyota Center and he said: “I will be all right.” I next asked about Game 6, Paul said: “Oh yeah,” before being whisked away.

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Like the rest of the basketball world, the elder Paul had seen this cruel scenario play out too many times before. For the second straight game, Chris Paul had been brilliant in the second half of a taut game against the defending champs and helped Houston pull off a gutty victory. But as has happened throughout his career, an ill-timed injury could cost him and his team dearly. "To get here and have this," Charles Paul said, shaking his head. "It comes with the job. You never know what's going to happen. "Chris doesn't feel sorry for himself. He's like, 'OK, this is what happened. We got to make the best of it.' He'll talk to the players on the team and say, 'Hey, I'm still going to be there, even if I don't play.'"
The Rockets said Paul would be re-evaluated after he gets an MRI on Friday before his status for Game 6 is determined. A team source told ESPN that his hamstring was still "really sore" late Thursday night and that he'd felt "a twinge" after landing on a jumper in the final minute of the Game 5 win. "We'll see," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Obviously you saw him limp off. And he's a tough guy."

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A source told ESPN that Paul's foot had been bothering him since the fourth quarter of the Rockets' Game 2 win in Houston. However, the Rockets haven't listed Paul on the official injury report during the series, and he had been evasive when asked about his health.
Coach Mike D'Antoni revealed a poorly kept secret after the Houston Rockets' series-tying, come-from-behind 95-92 win over the Golden State Warriors in Tuesday's Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. Chris Paul has been battling soreness in his right foot during the series. "Chris felt better. His foot felt better," D'Antoni said. "I called him after Game 3, and he said, 'Coach, I'm telling you, if I can get my foot right, we'll beat these guys.' Lo and behold, he got his foot right. And just like I said, we're back to even."
"It's about as good as it's going to be right now," Paul said. "But for us, it's not about that. It's about going out there and getting stops and making big plays when we needed to."
Rockets guard Chris Paul returned to practice on Friday and will practice on Saturday in San Francisco with no lingering issues from the soreness he had in his left calf late in Wednesday's Game 2. "His foot was bothering him a little bit," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It shouldn't be a problem. Just normal. Nothing that would sideline him or anything. He's good."
Tim MacMahon: Asked if there is any concern about Chris Paul's leg, which had a wrap on it late in last night's win, a Rockets source texted: "No, he's fine."
Adam Wexler: #Rockets Ariza (rest) is OUT tonight. Paul (leg), Nene (back) are probable. D’Antoni has said since the weekend he expected Paul to play tonight vs Wizards.
Alykhan Bijani: OUT for the #Rockets Eric Gordon (knee) Chris Paul (hip) Nene (back) IN: Luc Mbah a Moute Trevor Ariza Gerald Green to start tonight.
Adam Wexler: #Rockets Capela (Thumb), Harden (Rest) & Mbah a Moute ( Knee) are OUT: Paul (Hamstring) is probable vs. Bulls
Tim MacMahon: Plan is for Chris Paul to rest tonight vs. Pistons. Only way he plays is if insists. Listed as questionable with left hamstring soreness, but this is more precautionary. With 4-game lead and tiebreaker over wounded Warriors, the Rockets can selectively rest core vets down stretch
Rockets guard Chris Paul, who is listed as questionable to play Thursday against the Pistons with a sore left hamstring, played with some soreness on Tuesday and labored after the game-clinching offensive rebound in Portland, but said after the game he was fine and would not need to miss any time. “I’m cool,” Paul said. “I’m good. I’m good. I'll be fine.” Asked if he would miss any time, Paul said, “No, no, no, no. I’m fine.”
Mark Berman: For those who thought Chris Paul might have suffered a leg injury, Mike D'Antoni told the media in Portland Chris says he's fine.
Tim MacMahon: Mike D’Antoni confirmed that Chris Paul will play tomorrow vs. Clippers. CP3 will get a vet’s day off from practice today.
Jonathan Feigen: Paul said he was being too cautious with his sore groin. "I told (D'Antoni) I was tripping. It was my fault they were coming back. All game I wasn't really trusting what I had going on. I was like, 'That's enough." Three straight mid-range jumpers followed.
Paul Garcia: Chris Paul will play tonight against the Spurs per Coach D’Antoni. No minutes restriction. Eric Gordon won’t play tonight.
Josh Robbins: Rockets guard Chris Paul (groin) will not play tonight, Mike D'Antoni said.
Jonathan Feigen: Don't think Chris Paul's groin soreness can be considered serious. D'Antoni said Paul "worked out hard today. We'll try to get him ready for the games coming up."
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets have not ruled out CP3 for tomorrow. Working out now. D'Antoni said if not tomorrow in Washington Sunday vs. Lakers is probable.
Tim MacMahon: The Rockets' losing streak stands at three games. The 14-game winning streak seems like a distant memory. The hope is that Houston will get Chris Paul back at some point this week.
Tim MacMahon: Chris Paul will not play tonight against the Thunder. He got in a pregame workout.
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul is doubtful for the team's Christmas night game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City due to a left adductor strain.
Tim MacMahon: Chris Paul: "I wish I could play tomorrow. God knows I wish I could play tomorrow, but it's a marathon.... It’s tough, and it’s not just about playing against the Clippers. It’s the way that we’ve been building and getting back out there. And I love to hoop more than anything. That’s my happy place. It’s tough, it’s tough.”
Jonathan Feigen: D'Antoni said even with Mbah a Moute out, he's holding Chris Paul to 20 minutes. Said if not, Jason Biles would tackle him. Expect Chris Paul to be held to 20 minutes again Saturday in Memphis. After that, and three days between games, TBD.
After a light day on Monday with the Rockets off following the back-to-back, Paul is expected to go through a more extense workout on Tuesday and the Rockets' practice on Wednesday. The Rockets would not decide when he will play until Thursday when they can measure how he responds to the practice sessions and the flight to Phoenix.
The practice was not much of a test of his readiness to return, still not projected until next week. Friday's practice between games and before a back-to-back was more of a walk-through than a full practice and not as much of a test as his workouts have been. "He got on the court a little bit," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Things are progressing."
Mark Berman: Ryan Anderson on Chris Paul back on the court and shooting before practice. (Paul getting closer to returning): "It's awesome. I'm glad to see him out here. I know he's excited to be out on the court."
Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul's return: "He's probably rounding second and pretty close to third." D'Antoni estimated Paul would need "five days or so" of practice once he's cleared for basketball activities to build up his endurance before returning to game action. "I just hope we can get him back quickly so we can start building on what we really have."
As Paul and D’Antoni see it, the nine-time All-Star will likely return at some point in t he next two weeks. He has made key progress in the past week, having gone from the boxing and water-treadmill routine that helps maintain his wind to the kinds of on-court activities that typically precede a return. “Um, he's probably right,” Paul said about D’Antoni’s recent proclamation that he was approximately two weeks away.
D’Antoni, whose offense was second only to the Warriors last season, has entrusted that end of the floor to assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik since last season. But Paul’s view, on that topic and many more, is being heard. “He's seeing things where we can get better, what we need to do,” D’Antoni said. “A lot of (his feedback) is personnel driven. He knows the league really well, and what works with guys. We talk about plays. We talk about everything. It's more or less, well 'We can definitely do this,' so you file that away. Or 'we can do that,' or 'we need to pick our pace up, and to be able to do that then we can do this...' We just more or less talk.”
Rockets guard Chris Paul said he still did not have a timetable for his return from a bruised knee, though he did not disagree with Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni's guess that Paul could be back roughly Nov. 16, if not a game sooner or later depending on how quickly he progresses once cleared to practice. "Shoot, Coach told me I was going to play tomorrow," Paul said. "I don't know. I'm working, getting there. Very tough (to be patient,) very tough. I can only go as fast as they'll let me."
Paul, who went through shooting drills on Saturday, said he has been swimming or boxing every other day. D'Antoni said there have been no setbacks, but the Rockets are determined to hold out Paul until he is 100 percent. "Every day that goes by we get a little bit closer," D'Antoni said. "It can't be close enough. He's getting there."
Jonathan Feigen: Paul said he's been swimming and boxing. Could not provide timetable. "I'm working, getting there. Coach told me I was going to play tmrw."
"It wasn't responding as quickly as we wanted," D'Antoni said. "I'm thinking he could be back next day, next day and it wasn't that way. Right now, day-to-day, week-to-week, whatever you want to call it. "We're going to hold him out until it's completely well. There really is no timetable on it. We're going to make sure it's 100 percent well. It hard to put a timetable on it. If it is (a month-long absence) it is. We're equipped to win, anyway. Obviously, we want him back as soon as he can, but we're not going to bring him back until he's completely healthy because we don't want him limping or not feeling it later on."
Marc Stein: The Rockets have made it clear that they plan to be cautious with Chris Paul given the lofty goals they have in mind for a long playoff run
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets guard Chris Paul is out tomorrow vs. Mavs.
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni says Chris Paul will not play tonight as a precaution. Said Chris bumped knees with someone the other night. Will be fine for the opener. #Rockets
Chris Paul examined his crooked knuckles and the surgical scars that form tiny road maps on his hands. He has torn various ligaments in his thumbs and has broken bones in his fingers. He has worn casts and splints. His hands, though, are the indispensable tools of his trade, no matter how gruesome they look. “I’ve got the worst fingers,” he said.
In a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he jammed his left thumb fighting through a screen, tearing his ulnar collateral ligament — not to be confused with his radial collateral ligament, the one he tore on his right thumb training for the Olympics in 2012. Few people on the planet have firsthand knowledge of the difference between R.C.L. and U.C.L. tears. Paul is one of them. (They both hurt, he said.)
After spending several weeks squeezing a tiny rubber ball to rebuild the strength in his thumb, Paul has since returned to the court. He would like to stay there. “Just trying to keep my hands out of the way,” he said.
Injured point guard Chris Paul could return as soon as Thursday against the Warriors, as he appears ahead of schedule on his initial recovery timetable of six to eight weeks. Paul, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb Jan. 18, was back on the practice court Tuesday and Wednesday, just five weeks after the injury.
Brad Turner: Chris Paul practiced yesterday with Clippers. Still no timetable for his return from left thumb surgery
“It’s going to be hard on some of them,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The guy that played the minutes before was Austin, he played those (40-minute games). We don’t want to do that. That’s probably why we didn’t play as hard, because guys were playing too many minutes. I think J.J.’s minutes have to go up a little bit, Jamal’s minutes will have to go up because we don’t want to tax Raymond and Austin to the point that they’re not doing what they do well. Raymond’s a great ball pressure guy. If you start playing him 38 minutes, his ball pressure goes down.”
Clippers guard Chris Paul will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, the team announced. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. Paul, 31, sprained his left thumb in the second quarter of Monday night's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and was ruled out for the rest of the game. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the torn ligament in his thumb.
“It (stinks) – more than us losing one of the very best players in the NBA – he really loves the game like few others,” Jamal Crawford told SCNG in a text message. “So, you feel for him personally as well. To lose him to a fluke injury like that (stinks), but we’ll try and hold it down until we get him back.”
Paul, who will undergo surgery Wednesday, left Monday’s game against the Thunder with a sprained left thumb and didn’t return. Initial X-rays showed no break, but further tests Tuesday morning revealed the tear, which occurred after Paul jammed his left hand on Russell Westbrook’s right leg in the second quarter.
Clippers guard Chris Paul sprained his left thumb with 3:04 left in the second quarter of Monday night's 120-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and was ruled out for the rest of the game. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but further tests need to be done to determine the extent of the injury. "We don't know yet," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game. "The original X-ray was negative on his left thumb. They're going to do an MRI tomorrow, so we'll know more. I didn't see [what happened]. I guess they said [Russell] Westbrook came down on [Paul's thumb]. But whenever you see a guard pull their hand out, you pretty much know what just happened."
Storyline: Chris Paul Injury
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