Houston Rockets star point guard Chris Paul is still about two or three weeks away from a return.
Paul has been out since sustaining a hamstring injury against the Miami Heat on December 20. And, while it was initially reported that he would be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks after suffering the injury, it appears that he will be out longer than expected, given that he will have spent over a month on the sidelines by the time he gets back to playing.
According to Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday, the guard will need two to three weeks before being cleared, while the team's second-leading scorer, Eric Gordon, should be back in a week's time following a knee injury.
#Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says it will still be around 2-3 weeks until Chris Paul returns to the team from his hamstring injury. He added that they will be very careful about bringing him back too early.— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) January 8, 2019
Paul had averaged 15.6 points and 8.0 assists per contest before his injury but the Rockets have actually been playing better in his absence.
Having spent the earlier part of the season in the 14th spot of the Western Conference standings, the team now owns the fourth-best record therein.
Their recent success has been mostly down to the play of James Harden, with the reigning MVP going on quite the tear, scoring at least 32 points in 13 straight games and scoring more than 40 in five consecutive matches.
Harden has stormed back into the MVP conversation as a result of his performances over the last several games and his influence has seen the Rockets lose just one of the eight games Paul has missed.
Mike D'Antoni says he believes Eric Gordon could return from injury in a week and Chris Paul will take around 2-3 weeks. pic.twitter.com/koyI2FsjEt— Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) January 8, 2019
What This Means
While the team has been doing much better since Paul went down injured, they might not be able to sustain it for very long and will hope to have the star back as soon as is possible.
Paul's absence during last season's Western Conference Finals proved costly for the Rockets, who could have reached the finals had he been around. But Harden is carrying the team on his back for now and seems to be enjoying every minute of it.