Los Angeles Clippers star point guard Chris Paul will return to the lineup Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers after missing 18 games with a shoulder injury, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed prior to the game.
Paul separated his right shoulder in a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 3. The Clippers promptly got blown out by the San Antonio Spurs the next night, but they then went on a five-game winning streak and performed well in general with Paul sidelined.
Los Angeles went 12-6 with Darren Collison filling in for the injured Paul and Blake Griffin stepping up his performance. In the 18 games without Paul in the lineup, Griffin averaged 27.5 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 55.4 percent from the field.
Paul had been shooting and participating in contact drills during the week, but he wasn't able to practice until Saturday because of the Clippers' schedule. Paul, who was selected as a Western Conference All-Star reserve, does plan on playing in the All-Star Game next Sunday in New Orleans.