Clippers’ Matt Barnes (retinal tear in eye) to undergo surgery, miss 2 weeks
The Clippers announced Thursday that forward Matt Barnes will undergo surgery to repair a retinal tear in his left eye that will cause him to miss “a minimum of two weeks.”
Barnes sustained the injury during L.A.’s 106-102 loss to Memphis on Monday night and he did not travel with the Clippers on their current road trip.
A two-week recovery time would sideline Barnes, L.A.’s resident rough and tumble glue guy, for his team’s next eight games. The 10-year veteran is averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers has played Barnes 20 minutes per game so far this season in a reserve role behind starting wings Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick. Barnes’ absence should open up minutes for rookie forward Reggie Bullock, who has played only sparingly so far this season after being selected with the No. 25 pick in June.
“[Bullock is] a good player,” Rivers said Thursday, according to Clippers.com. “He wants to play. Doesn’t complain. He’s not happy when he’s not playing, but he’s never an obstruction. So, he’s been great.”
Reserve guard Jamal Crawford has seen his playing time cut from 29 minutes per game last season to 26 minutes per game this season, and he should see a larger role in Barnes’ absence. Rivers also has Antawn Jamison at his disposal, but the 37-year-old combo forward has yet to play so far this season.
L.A. is 8-4 heading into a Thursday night game at Oklahoma City.