Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups will be sidelined the rest of the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon Monday night during the 107-102 Clippers victory over Orlando.
The injury occurred within the remaining six minutes of the fourth quarter when Billups stumbled to the floor. There was no collision or contact with another player. Billups told Yahoo! Sports that there was no tenderness in his Achilles before the game. An MRI taken on Tuesday, however, confirmed the tear.
In his first season with the Clippers, Billups, 35, averaged 15 points, four assists and 30 minutes per game. Billups, alongside guard Chris Paul and center Blake Griffin proved strong, but Billups says the team will be fine without him. A five time NBA All Star and a 2004 NBA Finals MVP, Billups remains respected among his fellow colleagues.
Despite the season-ending injury, Billups vows his career isn’t over. “I will be back,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “I’m not done. I’m not retiring. I will definitely be back. This has been the story of my career, coming back, fighting, scrapping, and I will play again.”
In his 14-year career, Billups has suffered his fair share of ups and downs — a reason he claims he will be back in no time. His current contract with the Clippers expires at the end of the season and he’ll become a free agent this summer.
Billups has met with several doctors who have all concluded that he will require an extensive rehabilitation period. In an attempt to recover faster, Billups plans on reaching out to other athletes who have suffered the same injury, including Isaiah Thomas and David Beckham.
“I’ve talked to a couple different doctors, gotten some opinions and I’m going to get a couple of more,” Billups said. “This injury is not what it was 10 or 12 years ago. It’s not an easy injury, but it’s gotten a lot better and easier to come back from. I’m telling you: I will definitely be back,” Billups stated.
“I’m focusing in a major way on coming back, and, without a doubt, my career is not over. You will see me again,” he said. “I know that. You will see me playing again.”