SANTA BARBARA -- He hops in line among teammates shooting jumpers. His shot is true, one falling after the other, the motions effortless.
For a few fleeting minutes, everything seems normal, like it was before.
Then the drill stops and Shaun Livingston is once again relegated to the sideline to watch and wait while the other Clippers continue with practice.
It has been more than seven months since the promising point guard severely damaged almost every part of his left knee in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Since, he has made steady progress and started wearing a knee brace while performing some light drills last week. But it is still too early to determine when Livingston will return to the court.
"Right now, everything is one day at a time," he said. "All that stuff is coming along. But it's not like I can wake up the next morning and start running."
Before the injury, Livingston was leading the team in assists, distributing 5.1 a game and developing into the type of slashing point guard the organization envisioned when it chose him fourth overall in the 2004 draft.
The magnitude of his injuries -- torn anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and a dislocated knee -- roiled the team's point guard plans, leading them to sign veterans Brevin Knight and Dan Dickau to back starter Sam Cassell.
Livingston, 22, said he is confident about the signings and what the veterans add to the team, but it is still disheartening to wait while his teammates prepare. He attends physical therapy five days a week and focuses on strengthening the knee with leg presses and pool therapy three days, and performing agility work the other two.
On the court, he is unable to do basketball moves, such as pivoting and cutting.
"I don't have that explosiveness right now and it gets fatigued earlier," Livingston said. "I'm still at the point where if I push it too much I'll regress."
Trainer Jasen Powell said the staff is cautious with Livingston, making sure he doesn't put too much pressure on the knee or compensate by adding pressure to the other.
"People ask me if he's on schedule or off schedule, but there's really no timetable based on the injury he had," Powell said. "The good thing is, he feels confident about where he is and where he wants to be."
Livingston said he is still capable of making assists.
He helps keep a light practice atmosphere -- usually by messing with Cassell and Cuttino Mobley from the sideline.
"I get a little bored," he said. "I'm animated, so I just mess with a lot of people and keep myself busy."
After an open scrimmage, the Clippers broke camp, returning to Los Angeles. . . . Mobley (strained left calf) and center Chris Kaman (sore lower back) sat out the camp, but both are expected to return this week.