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Paul George (elbow) returns to practice

Mar 6, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George and forward Kawhi Leonard watch a game against the New York Knicks during the first half at Crypto.com Arena. The Knicks won 116-93. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Seven-time All-Star Paul George is returning to practice Thursday with the Los Angeles Clippers, the next stage of his recovery from a torn ligament in his right (shooting) elbow.

George, 31, is still listed as out for Friday night’s game against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.

George participated in 4-on-4 practice Sunday against Clippers’ assistant coaches. Head coach Tyronn Lue said Monday that George’s elbow was “feeling better.” Lue said George also continues to work on his conditioning.

Lue also said Thursday that Norman Powell (broken foot) did some on-court work Wednesday.

George has not played since Dec. 22 after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament. He first missed four games from Dec. 8-18, returned for two games then hit pause on his season to allow the elbow to rest and recover.

Season-ending surgery was on the table, at one point.

A first-team All-NBA selection in 2018-19, George is in his 12th NBA season. In 732 career games (684 starts) with the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Clippers, the 31-year-old has averages of 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

He’s averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 26 games last season.

The Clippers (36-38) are entrenched in the eighth spot. With just eight games remaining, it will be hard for the Clippers to ascend to the seventh spot and it’s unlikely the Lakers can catch them at No. 8.

–Field Level Media