LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clippers point guard Chris Paul was upset right after he separated his right shoulder Friday at Dallas. That's all over now.
Speaking for the first time since the injury, Paul said Monday he was focused on making it back to the court.
"I want to play and I need to play," Paul said before Los Angeles faced Orlando in the opener of a four-game homestand. "You just want to be out there to help your team. But I'm cool. I woke up yesterday and was done feeling sorry for myself. It's one of those situations where it could have been worse. Now, it's all about attacking the rehab."
Paul is expected to miss at least six weeks after he was tripped by Mavericks guard Monta Ellis while dribbling around a screen during the Clippers' 119-112 victory.
"I was mad. That's why I slammed my mouthpiece," said Paul, who signed a five-year deal worth nearly $108 million back in July after becoming a free agent. "I felt it when it happened and I could sort of hear it, and I knew it was pretty significant. As an athlete, you prepare and do everything possible to try not to get injured. So that was the most frustrating part."
The six-time All-Star, who shoots right-handed, had an MRI on Sunday and will not need surgery.
The Clippers rallied for the win against the Mavericks. But they lost 116-92 at San Antonio on Saturday with Paul's former New Orleans teammate, five-year veteran Darren Collison, taking over as the starting point guard.
"Chris took it hard — and he should. He's a competitor, and that's why I love him," coach Doc Rivers said. "He's emotional, and I love emotional guys. The one thing I told him was: 'We can't get the injury back. It's happened. So let's look at this as a blessing — that you get to have fresh legs for the stretch run.' That's the only way you can look at it."
Collison was UCLA's starting point guard for his final three seasons with the Bruins. As a rookie in 2009-10 with New Orleans, Collison filled in when Paul had to sit out with injuries and set a single-game franchise record for rookies with 20 assists.