Paul George has given the Los Angeles Clippers a lift with his return to practice on Thursday for the first time since December.

The Clippers have seen their season wrecked by injuries but have still managed to hover around .500, entering Thursday's games eighth in the West with a 36-38 record.

They are set to finish the regular season in that position, securing a place in the play-in tournament – an impressive achievement given the absence of key players.

Kawhi Leonard is yet to play in 2021-22 due to the partial tear of the ACL in his right knee that curtailed his playoff campaign last year.

George carried the Clippers in his stead, averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals until he tore a ligament in his right elbow late last year.

A trade for Norm Powell sought to breathe new life into the Clippers' season, yet he lasted just three games – scoring 21.0 points per game – before fracturing a bone in his left foot.

The team's competitive results have given the trio time to recover, though, and now George is back in the mix, cleared for practice even if he remains out on gameday.

"He is doing good," coach Ty Lue said on Thursday. "He hasn't felt any pain, so that is a positive thing.

"He is just working on his conditioning and just making sure he can continue to go through the minimal contact without having any issue. So as of right now, it hasn't been a problem."