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Chris Paul playoff injury timeline: Suns star adds to rough postseason history with groin strain

Chris Paul’s pursuit of a championship ring has been put on hold — again.

During the Suns’ second-round series against the Nuggets, the 12-time All-Star suffered a groin injury that could sideline him for multiple games.

Unfortunately for Paul, this is just the latest in a long line of playoff problems. Over the past few seasons, he has run into health issues at the worst possible times.

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Chris Paul playoff injury timeline

2015 NBA Playoffs

Paul battled through a hamstring injury to push the Clippers past the Spurs in a thrilling first-round series. He hit a buzzer-beater over Tim Duncan in Game 7 to send Los Angeles to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Paul then missed the first two games of the next series. After holding a 3-1 lead, the Clippers ultimately fell to the Rockets.

2016 NBA Playoffs

In a Game 4 loss to the Trail Blazers, Paul fractured his right right hand while defending a drive by Gerald Henderson. Paul seemed to immediately know that he would be out for an extended period.

Without Paul (and Blake Griffin) in the starting lineup for the last two games of the first round, the Clippers failed to advance.

2018 NBA Playoffs

Paul and James Harden powered the Rockets to a 3-2 lead over the mighty Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but Houston couldn’t land a knockout blow after Paul limped off the floor with a hamstring injury near the end of Game 5.

Golden State went on to win the final two games and sweep Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

2021 NBA Playoffs

While he didn’t sit out any of the Suns’ games against the Lakers, Paul struggled to perform like his usual self in the first round because of a right shoulder contusion.

Paul told JJ Redick on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast that he couldn’t even handle or shoot the ball in certain games.

“Dribbling, that’s what I do. I would dribble, and the ball wouldn’t come back up,” Paul said. “It was the scariest thing ever. Like, I would dribble, and [think], ‘Whoa, why am I losing the ball?’ … Game 2, I went out there. I don’t even know why they were guarding me. I could not shoot it.”

During that same postseason, Paul also entered the league’s health and safety protocols, forcing him to miss Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals. He was available for the rest of the playoffs, but Phoenix was not able to take down Milwaukee in the NBA Finals.

2022 NBA Playoffs

Paul wouldn’t publicly discuss the issue, but he was reportedly dealing with a quad injury during the Suns’ Western Conference Semifinal series against the Mavericks, according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.

Dallas pummeled Phoenix in the last two games of the series to secure a spot in the Western Conference Finals.

2023 NBA Playoffs

In Game 2, Paul suffered a groin strain while attempting to box out Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Phoenix is preparing to be without Paul for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the second round.

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