-- LOS ANGELES -- Point guard Chris Paul, who has been sidelined since Jan. 3 with a separated right shoulder, likely will return to the starting lineup Sunday when the Los Angeles Clippers play the Philadelphia 76ers.
Paul has been participating in contact drills and shootarounds, but the Clippers have not had a full practice in almost two weeks, preventing him from practicing with the team.
The Clippers canceled practice Thursday and are expected to sit Paul for Friday's game against the Toronto Raptors. If Paul practices Saturday without any problems, he will play Sunday.
"He did some one-on-ones today at shootaround and looked pretty good, so I think he's very close," coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday. "I don't think he'll play Friday but he could play after that. He took contact today in one-on-ones, but it's still not a 5-on-5."
Paul was voted into the All-Star Game in New Orleans as a reserve and recently said he planned on playing in the game because it's in the city where he played his first six NBA seasons and his first All-Star Game in 2008.
"The All-Star Game is in New Orleans, and that's a part of me," Paul said. "That's where I played my very first All-Star Game, and anytime you have that opportunity, I'm not going to pass it up, because it's not guaranteed to happen next year."