Mar 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) attempts to pass the ball tipped by Atlanta Hawks guard Shelvin Mack (8) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Crawford (Ankle) to Miss Suns Game, "I Have to Get Stronger"

The return from an ankle injury didn’t go well for Jamal Crawford.

In limited minutes against the Atlanta Hawks, nine to be exact , Crawford went 0-for-2 from the field for a total of three points before being sat for the remainder of the game. It wasn’t clear if this was Doc Rivers’ plan, as he stated he wanted to bring Crawford along slowly as he recovered from the ailing injury, or if Crawford’s ankle was re-injured, but according to the team, Crawford will be absent as the team takes on the Phoenix Suns tonight.

After the Hawks victory, Crawford spoke on what’s limiting him.

“I just have to get it stronger because I don’t want the same pain to continue to bother me going into the playoffs. I didn’t reinsure it, but I can tell you it has to be stronger for sure.”

A lingering injury to the teams third leading scorer isn’t what the Clippers need right now. Jared Dudley is dealing with back spasms, J.J. Redick is still out indefinitely due to a hip injury and Danny Granger is still working himself into the offense. This leaves Matt Barnes, Darren Collison and sporadic minutes from Reggie Bullock and Willie Green to make up the scoring hole that is when Crawford is out. While Barnes is on fire from the field, he doesn’t have the scoring prowess to do what Crawford does on a nightly basis.

In all the bad that is the injury, Crawford’s comments gives hope that this won’t be an ordeal that’ll carry on as the regular season is coming to a close. With a soft schedule in the coming weeks — the team faces the Jazz, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks and Pistons in their next 10 games — this gives the Clippers a chance to completely rest Crawford, and any other injured player for that matter, without worrying about how they’ll defeat opponents.

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