Hornets' point guard nursing a variety of injuries

Updated: February 9, 2006, 4:56 PM ET
Associated Press

Chris Paul

BETHANY, Okla. -- Hornets point guard Chris Paul is expected to miss Friday's game against the New York Knicks with a variety of injuries.

The rookie bruised his ribs Wednesday night when he drove the lane and collided with Seattle's Nick Collison. He sat out practice Thursday with a wrap around his left shoulder and upper torso and an ice bag on his neck.

"I don't think Chris will play tomorrow," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "I would love to just let him relax for the next two games and see how he feels for Monday.

"Right now, I think he's still pretty banged up. I know how bad he wants to play, but I don't think it would be in his best interests to play the next two games at least."

The Hornets host the Knicks on Friday, then play at Minnesota on Saturday. They are off Sunday before playing Washington on Monday night.

Paul had already bruised his tailbone Monday at New Jersey and is still wearing a sleeve that protects a torn ligament in his right thumb.

Paul leads all rookies in points (16.2), assists (7.7), steals (2.2) and minutes (35.7). The Hornets lost 101-93 to Atlanta in the only game Paul has missed this season. Speedy Claxton, who left Wednesday night's game with a mild concussion, is expected to start in Paul's place against New York.

Behind Paul and Claxton, the Hornets have no experience at point guard. Guards Kirk Snyder and J.R. Smith have struggled when asked to run the offense, and Scott turned to forwards David West and Desmond Mason to initiate the offense when both point guards were out.

"Without him, it makes us a little bit more of a half-court basketball team," West said. "We're going to have to be able to execute in the half court."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press