The Los Angeles Clippers announced on Saturday that power forward Blake Griffin sustained a partially torn quadricep tendon in the team’s 94-84 Christmas Day win over the in-town rival Lakers, and will miss at least two weeks before being reevaluated.
Blake Griffin did not make the trip to Utah for the Clippers’ match-up Saturday night against the Jazz and will miss at least the rest of the team’s current five-game road trip with a partially torn quad tendon suffered in the Clippers’ Christmas win against the Lakers.
The injury occurred on a drive to the basket in the first quarter Friday night, and an MRI revealed the partial tear Saturday morning. Griffin will begin a recovery and treatment plan and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers reiterated that quad ailments are tricky, with recovery time ranging from one week to two months.
While Griffin will be re-evaluated in two weeks, it could be longer than that before he returns. Doc Rivers said sometimes those injuries take a week or two, and something they can take a month or longer.
The Clippers will be patient as they wait to find out how long they’ll be without their leading scorer.
After grabbing a hard-fought 109-104 road win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, the Clippers will embark off to Washington to take on the Wizards before squaring-off against the Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans, both of which will take place on the road. Los Angeles then returns home to face the lowly Philadelphia 76ers before venturing out on the road again to take on the Portland Trail Blazers.
Losing Griffin, who is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and five assists per game, for an extended period of time is less than ideal for the Clippers, but they must be relieved that his absence comes during a rather feeble part of their schedule. That slate of games is a very winnable one without Griffin, and according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, Los Angeles hopes some rest and physical therapy will have Griffin back to normal ASAP.
Clippers are hopeful that rest and physical therapy will allow for a full recovery, per source
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 26, 2015
Last season Griffin missed fifteen games due to a staph infection, and the Clippers fared just fine, going a respectable 9-6 in his absence. DeAndre Jordan saw an uptick in productivity with Griffin temporarily shelved, averaging 14.9 points and 18.5 rebounds per outing during that fifteen-game stretch.
As for who will fill the huge void left by Griffin, it may be by committee. Chris Paul will be expected to ratchet up his level of aggression, and Los Angeles hopes Paul Pierce, who has struggled mightily to start the season, can build on his 20-point performance against Utah on Saturday, one in which he hit a huge dagger three-pointer to clinch the victory.
Rivers may also enlist in the help of Josh Smith, one of the team’s big offseason acquisitions that had fallen out of the rotation as of late. Smith, who had not seen the floor against the Oklahoma City Thunder or Lakers this week, started for Griffin on Saturday, but was on the court for only five minutes. Wesley Johnson, Lance Stephenson and Cole Aldrich may also be asked to do more, which can be a scary thought for Rivers, especially in the case of Stephenson.