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USATSI

The Los Angeles Clippers will be without Paul George for a few more weeks as the team continues to monitor his recovery from a torn UCL in his right shooting elbow, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. George's injury was originally announced on Dec. 25, and he was to be reevaluated in 3-4 weeks. The team will now evaluate how George's elbow responds to rest over the next few weeks.

George initially sprained his elbow on Dec. 6 and missed five consecutive games. He rehabbed his elbow during that time and returned on Dec. 20 and scored 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting in a 116-92 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He played two more games, with his last being on Dec. 22 against the Sacramento Kings, and has been out with the injury since then.

Since George has been sidelined, the Clippers have struggled without their star forward, posting a 5-8 record over that span. Despite this, though, L.A. is still firmly in the hunt for not only a play-in spot, but can also challenge for potentially the No. 6 spot in the West if George manages to return fully healthy. Entering Tuesday, the Clippers sit eighth in the West with a 22-23 record, with just 1 1/2 games separating them and the No. 6 Denver Nuggets. Getting up to that sixth spot would ensure that the Clippers would avoid the play-in tournament. 

But before L.A. can even think about the playoffs, it'll need George to make a speedy recovery. At the start of the season he was building an MVP case with how he carried the Clippers out to an 8-4 record. Through those first 12 games George was averaging 26.4 points, eight rebounds and 5.3 assists. 

In the absence of Kawhi Leonard, who has yet to play this season and is still recovering from a partially torn ACL, George is experiencing perhaps his best season in a Clippers jersey. He's averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, a career-high 5.5 assists and two steals a game. So not having him on the floor is a significant blow for Los Angeles.