Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been medically cleared and will immediately serve out his 4-game suspension.
Griffin has not played since December. He attended practice Saturday and was cleared by team doctors before their game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday. He immediately served his 4-game suspension starting Sunday’s game against the Nuggets. He is set to return April 3 against the Washington Wizards.
The former slam dunk champion suffered from a partially torn tendon in his left quads and a broken hand that requires surgery that he suffered during an altercation at a Toronto restaurant on January 23. The team also deducted five games pay worth $859,442.
In an article published in ESPN, Clippers coach Doc Rivers felt that they erred on the side of caution for bringing back the five time All-Star.
“I kind of thought he was ready to play but I still wanted to see him practice. You know he wanted to practice during our last practice on March 22 but we wouldn’t let him,” Rivers said. “Usually when a player starts talking that way, you know he’s ready to practice and wants to go out. We just felt like the extra three or four days to practice would help.”
Blake Griffin missed 41 games due to his injury. He will sit out the game against Denver, Boston, Minnesota and Oklahoma City.
The big question now is whether he could get his spot back in the starting lineup.
“The question more importantly is not the starting; it’s how many minutes in a row he can play. I don’t know if you can get him in the condition to play 30 or 35 minutes right away.”
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan could not hide his excitement for the return of Griffin.
“I think we’re all excited, we’ve really missed him. You can’t really replace a guy like that, but we have pieces,” Jordan said.
In the 30 games that he played this season, Blake Griffin has averaged 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5 assists in 34.9 minutes.
Photo Courtesy: Blake Griffin/tumblr.com