Report: Houston Rockets target Thursday return for Chris Paul


The Houston Rockets have increased Chris Paul’s practice load in the hope he’ll be ready to return from what would be a 14-game absence for Thursday night’s contest against the Phoenix Suns (10:30 ET, TNT). 

Paul, 32, has played in just one game, Houston’s season-opening victory over the Golden State Warriors, since bruising his left knee on Oct. 11 against the Memphis Grizzlies. 

The Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen has more on how Paul is faring and whether or not he’ll suit up in two days:

With the Rockets hoping to have guard Chris Paul ready to play Thursday in Phoenix, Paul ramped up his workouts on Sunday and is scheduled for intense sessions again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

After a light day on Monday with the Rockets off following the back-to-back, Paul is expected to go through a more extense workout on Tuesday and the Rockets’ practice on Wednesday. The Rockets would not decide when he will play until Thursday when they can measure how he responds to the practice sessions and the flight to Phoenix.

“We don’t want to push it,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “If not Thursday, then we’ll see about Saturday (in Memphis). He worked out hard (Sunday.) We’ll see how he feels Tuesday and Wednesday. That (having Paul play on Thursday) is what we’re shooting for.” 

The Rockets have played well in the nine-time All-Star’s absence, winning 10 of 14 games after Tuesday’s home loss to the Toronto Raptors.

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The Raptors toppled the Rockets in Houston on Tuesday night.

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