Clippers power forward Craig Smith pivots to the basket against Bulls forward… (Dennis Wierzbicki / US Presswire )
Clippers forward Craig Smith, who hasn't played since Dec. 18, should get a good read on his progress when he visits the doctor Wednesday.
Smith suffered a herniated disk in his lower back and nerve damage in his right leg, which required an epidural. If all is deemed to be going well, Smith won't require more drastic measures.
"The way I'm feeling, I feel close," he said Monday before the Clippers played Milwaukee at Staples Center. "Hopefully, no surgery. I don't wish that on anybody."
The Clippers have missed Smith's physical presence in the paint, though not as much as he has missed playing with his teammates. He was injured going after a loose ball in Chicago.
"If I get the green light, I get to continue what I'm doing, which is conditioning right now," Smith said. "It's been a long time. I'm very anxious. It's been very frustrating. I'm not even going to lie."
Frustrating and excruciating
"It's not really discomfort now. The pain has been gone," Smith said. "It's about strength in my leg. The nerve was damaged pretty bad.
"It was brutal. I mean I'm thankful that I can get out of the bed now and walk normally. I couldn't get up and go to the bathroom."
He has had back issues, but this was a different category.
"Never like this. Ever," Smith said. "I'm fortunate that's over. I hope I can continue and get back on the court soon."
The Clippers are listing Eric Gordon as day to day, but that appears to be more of a housekeeping issue rather than any drastic improvement in his situation.
Gordon has sat out four games because of a sprained right wrist and chip fracture, which he suffered when he fell on the wrist and back against Golden State on Jan. 22.