Clippers’ Patrick Beverley is close to a return

Earlier this week, Clippers guard Patrick Beverley surprised his teammates by joining the team in Phoenix.

He had spent the previous days in Los Angeles rehabilitating the bone in his left hand that was fractured April 8, but wanted to show up at the tail end of a three-game road trip, even if it meant watching on the sideline, a brace protecting his injured hand.

Within the coming days, Beverley could appear in the team’s lineup. Kawhi Leonard will play Saturday night against Denver in his second game since being sidelined April 8 by a sore right foot.

“If he keeps progressing the way he is, we should be able to see him in the next couple games, hopefully,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said of Beverley before Saturday’s home game, the 12th consecutive game Beverley has missed because of his hand. Along with a right knee injury suffered March 14, Beverley has been sidelined for 24 of the Clippers’ last 26 games.

When Beverley fractured the fourth metacarpal on his left hand, an injury that required surgery April 9 at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center, the team announced that he would be re-evaluated in three to four weeks. He recently passed the three-week mark.

The Clippers are 21-10 this season when Beverley starts. The three-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive team is averaging 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting a career-high 41.6% on three-pointers.

Also unavailable is center Serge Ibaka, whom Lue described as still progressing from a back injury that has sidelined him since March 14.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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