Clippers' Kaman May Miss Entire Preseason
The Los Angeles Clippers may be without first-round pick Chris Kaman for the entire preseason due to the 7-foot center's back injury.
Kaman suffered a herniated disk in his lower back sometime during the summer, according to the Los Angeles Times. The former Central Michigan standout continued to experience tightness in his back last month.
Drafted sixth overall by the Clippers last June, Kaman was projected as a possible replacement for Michael Olowokandi as the team's starting center. Free agency saw the Clippers lose three of its starting five in Olowokandi, point guard Andre Miller and small forward Lamar Odom.
Kaman, 21, is listed as day to day, but general manager Elgin Baylor declined to say when Kaman will be ready to play. "It depends on how he's coming along," Baylor told the Times. "It depends on what the doctor and the trainers decide, and how Chris is feeling."
The Clippers' other centers on the roster include Melvin Ely, a 2002 lottery pick also mentioned as a candidate to start, 38-year-old Olden Polynice and Wang Zhizhi.
New head coach Mike Dunleavy called the injury a "setback" for Kaman, who figured to get plenty of playing time in the preseason to prove himself worthy of a starting spot.
Kaman has continued to work out to stay in shape but, under the Clippers' orders, has not played 5-on-5 basketball since mid-August.
"It would put anybody behind the 8-ball, especially someone coming into his first year and not knowing what to expect," Kaman said. "I haven't been able to do anything because they want me to stay away from contact until they know it's good."
If Kaman is ALREADY having back problems as a rookie, I'd like to see how long he lasts banging every night down low.