Clippers point guard Chris Paul initially suffered his thumb injury during… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Any fears Clippers fans might have about All-Star point guard Chris Paul having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb should be put to rest, according to Coach Vinny Del Negro.
He wanted to reassure fans that Paul "will be all right" and will "resume all basketball activities" after being sidelined for about eight weeks.
It's possible that Paul could be back sometime during training camp, which starts Oct. 1.
"I don't want to put an exact date on it," Del Negro said. "When he's ready to play, he'll play. But I expect him back sometime during training camp. I don't know when, but the most important thing is to get ready for the start of the season."
Paul played with the injury throughout the Olympics in London, keeping the thumb taped while helping the United States win the gold medal.
Paul aggravated the thumb injury in July on the first day of Team USA training camp in Las Vegas. He had an X-ray that revealed a sprained right thumb, and had told reporters he first injured the thumb during the playoffs.
Paul is the second Clipper to have surgery this off-season. All-Star power forward Blake Griffin had surgery in July to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Griffin also suffered his injury while participating in a Team USA practice.
"Getting the Chris thing done was good and getting the Blake thing done was good," Del Negro said. "Now we've got to move forward."
Paul averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.53 steals in 36.4 minutes last season for the Clippers. He helped them reach the second round of the playoffs, in which they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
Paul averaged 8.3 points on 51% shooting, and 46.4% three-point shooting, in eight games during the Olympics. He also averaged 5.1 assists, second on the team behind LeBron James, and 2.5 steals, tops on the team, in 25.8 minutes.
The Clippers are scheduled to play their first exhibition game Oct. 6 in Las Vegas against Denver and open the regular season Oct. 31 against Memphis.