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BREAKING: Chris Paul Injury Update: What We Know About CP3’s Upcoming Warriors Return

Golden State Warriors point guard Chris Paul will not play in Sunday’s primetime home game against the defending-champion Denver Nuggets, the team confirmed via its injury report, though the 12-time All-Star’s return to the lineup is getting closer.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Paul, who has been out with a fractured left hand since January 5, is trending toward being back on the hardwood at some point during the team’s upcoming four-game East Coast road trip, which tips off Tuesday against the Washington Wizards and concludes March 3 against the Boston Celtics.

“Hopefully sooner rather than later next week,” Kerr, who just signed a record-breaking two-year contract extension with the Warriors, said of Paul’s comeback on Thursday.

Newsweek’scall to the Warriors’ office seeking further comment was not immediately returned on Sunday.

Golden State beat a LeBron James -less Los Angeles Lakers team and a downtrodden Charlotte Hornets squad earlier this week in its first two games post-All-Star Weekend, and goes into a 7 p.m. ET matchup with the Nuggets at 29-26—good for 10th place in the Western Conference standings.

The Warriors have won three in a row and eight of their last 10, and adding a future Hall of Famer back to the mix could be the bonus Kerr’s team needs ahead of the playoffs.

What’s Paul’s timeline been like? And how will his return impact Golden State’s lineup? Here’s what else we know about the 38-year-old’s injury.

Paul attempted a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter of a January 5 home game against the Detroit Pistons, and after that shot bounced off the side of the rim he tried to grab an offensive board.

Instead, the 11-time All-NBA selection collided with Detroit’s Jaden Ivey, grabbed at his own hand and shortly after was sent to the locker room.

A few days later, on January 8, Paul underwent successful surgery to repair the second metacarpal fracture in his left hand, the Warriors confirmed. It marked the fifth surgery on Paul’s left hand over his 19 NBA seasons, ESPN reported.

Golden State provided an update on Paul’s status on January 30, saying the guard was making “good progress” and had been cleared for light on-court individual workouts with a splint on his left hand. More recently, Paul was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice—including the five-on-five portion. Kerr added the next step will be for the training staff to get a sense of where “CP3’s” conditioning is at, but that Paul is “close.”

Paul has missed 20 games since fracturing his left hand.

Chris Paul went to the locker room after appearing to injure his hand on this play pic.twitter.com/phKrunsV9s

— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 6, 2024

The Warriors are about to receive an added luxury—plus a challenge.

Golden State has turned to Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green and rookie Brandin Podziemski in the starting five over its current winning stretch, and Kerr will soon have two former All-Stars in Paul and Klay Thompson at his disposal off the bench. Not exactly a bad combo to lead the second unit. In fact, it was enough to bring a smile to the 58-year-old head coach’s face—and might be what Golden State needs to get out of play-in territory.

But deciding how to balance minutes, especially late in games, with so many closing-caliber hoopers is still an ongoing discussion.

“I think once we’re fully healthy, we’re gonna have a numbers crunch, literally, every night,” Kerr said of Paul’s return and how it will impact the lineup. “We’re gonna have to decide who’s closing each half—it’ll probably be fluid based on how the game is going.”

Kerr added: “We can’t wait to get Chris back, obviously. He’s been one of our best players…It’s great to have the option to close with him, just like it’s great to have the option to close with several other guys, too. It won’t be easy. But like I said, as long as everybody is committed to just winning the game and recognizing every night could be a little bit different, then I think we’re gonna be in good shape.”

Before an injury interrupted his debut season with the Warriors, Paul was averaging 8.9 points and 7.2 assists—while shooting 42.4 percent from the field and swiping 1.1 steals a night—over 32 games and about 27 minutes per contest. The Dubs, according to NBC Sports, average 8.9 more points per 100 possessions when Paul is on the court this season.

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