Three-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul was medically cleared Friday to begin running, and he could be a week to 10 days from returning to the New Orleans Hornets’ lineup.
Paul required arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 4, and it has forced him to miss 20 consecutive games.
The Hornets initially projected Paul would be sidelined from four to six weeks. Paul will enter his sixth week sidelined when the Hornets open a five-game road trip that starts Saturday at Phoenix.
Paul participated in Friday morning’s shootaround at the New Orleans Arena. Hornets Coach Jeff Bower said they will continue to evaluate Paul’s progress to determine whether his work load will increase or stay at the same level. But Bower declined to give a set date on Paul’s return.
“It will be the regular transition from half-speed to three-quarters to full speed before he returns, ’’ Bower said. ”We’re optimistic.’’
Bower said all of Paul’s running for the first few workouts will involve running in a straight line and not with him making any quick cuts.