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Clippers' Chris Kaman out at least three more weeks

Center's ankle injury is more serious than previously thought. DeAndre Jordan will get more playing time.

December 10, 2010|By Jim Peltz

The Clippers had hoped Chris Kaman's injured left ankle would heal in time for the All-Star center to rejoin the team's lineup next week when they leave for a three-game trip.

But it's not to be.

Kaman, 28, will miss at least three more weeks because of the ankle has a bone bruise and ligament sprain, the Clippers said Friday.

"I'm frustrated and disappointed that I have to wait longer," Kaman said. "I was hoping to play sooner, but injuries are a part of basketball."

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said Kaman "needs to stay off [the ankle] for a couple weeks, and then train for a week and see how it reacts."

The struggling Clippers (5-18) have been hobbled by injuries to several players already this season, "but I can't control that, no one can control it," Del Negro said after the team practiced at its Playa Vista training facility. "You just have to manage as best you can and go with the guys that are healthy."

Kaman first injured the ankle Nov. 9 against the Hornets in New Orleans. He returned to the lineup this month but reinjured the ankle Sunday when the Clippers played the Trail Blazers in Portland.

In 10 games, Kaman was averaging 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Jordan's job

Kaman's setback will mean more playing time for backup center DeAndre Jordan, who's averaging 5.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 20.2 minutes.

"We're going to need him to play at a high level now until Chris gets back," Del Negro said.

Jordan needs to be "big in the lane, block shots, rebound, control the paint, set good screens, all the things he's more than capable of doing, and he's been doing a nice job for us," Del Negro said. "He'll continue to help us. He'll improve. He's still 22 years old."

Jordan, in his third season, said he would try avoid feeling added pressure in light of Kaman's extended absence. "I'm not going to do everything that Chris can do for the team, but I'm going to try to fill in as much as I can," he said.

But Jordan did acknowledge that one of his biggest liabilities is being too hard on himself.

"I want to be great at everything [and] the coaches and my team have told me you have to great at one thing and move to the next thing, you can't be great at everything at once," he said. ""I'm learning to become more patient."

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