Soon, perhaps sooner than anyone dared hope, Chauncey Billups will regain his game and a piece of his identity.

The man who was initially reluctant to join the Clippers after they won his rights in an amnesty waiver auction last December can't wait to rejoin a team he liked enough to re-sign with for another year. Expected to need at least eight months' healing time after tearing his left Achilles' tendon on Feb. 6, the veteran guard is back on the court, though he hasn't played five-on-five yet and wouldn't declare a target for his return.

"When my body feels right, that's when I'll be back," he said. "That being said, I'm far ahead of schedule.