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Injury report is better than expected for Clippers

An MRI exam reveals that forward Caron Butler has an elbow strain but no structural damage, and guard Jamal Crawford works out after sitting out the last two games because of a sore ankle.

March 12, 2013|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times

When the Clippers got the news on the injury front Monday, there was a sigh of relief.

The team learned that Caron Butler didn't suffer any structural damage to his left elbow, although an MRI exam revealed Monday that the small forward does have an elbow strain.

Coach Vinny Del Negro said Butler will be out "approximately a week" because of the injury.

Guard Jamal Crawford, after sitting out the last two games because of a sore left ankle, practiced some Monday and there is a good chance that he will play Wednesday when the Clippers play host to the Memphis Grizzlies.

But backup point guard Eric Bledsoe didn't practice because of an injured left calf. He sat out the Clippers' victory over Detroit on Sunday and his chances of playing against Memphis are remote.

"We're hopeful that Jamal will be back on Wednesday," Del Negro said after practice. "Bledsoe is still out. So we've just got to manage it right now like always.

"We don't want anybody to miss any time. But if it's only a week or so, that's very good news for us after last night seeing Caron after the game."

Butler was injured in the third quarter against Detroit at Staples Center, and it left the Clippers very concerned.

"Last night, I wasn't too optimistic when I saw him in the training room," Del Negro said. "He was in a lot of pain. But there wasn't anything structural. He just has a strain, so we'll give him some time off and re-evaluate him. But they are telling us around a week."

Del Negro said they watched film of what happened to Butler.

"He got spasms so that he couldn't straighten up," Del Negro said. "But he didn't get hit or anything."

Dunk buzz

A day after DeAndre Jordan's monster dunk over Detroit's Brandon Knight during the Clippers' victory over the Pistons, it was still the rage.

Knight even joked about it on Twitter: "It wasn't in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs. lol."

Jordan watched a replay of his lob dunk off a pass from Chris Paul when he got home Sunday night. Jordan paused and then smiled before saying Monday, "That was a nice pass by Chris, man. A really nice pass."

Jordan did notice how animated his teammates were after the dunk.

Matt Barnes "took off running" down court after the dunk, Ronny Turiaf "just laid on the court" and Del Negro "was trying to hold Blake [Griffin] back" while he was on the sideline, Jordan said.

The Clippers center said he got "a couple of thousands" new Twitter followers.

"Honestly, I was more excited about making the free throw afterward," he said.

Indeed, Jordan made the free throw to complete the three-point play.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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