Clippers’ Blake Griffin Out With Elbow Infection
First it was J.J. Redick. Now another big name player will have to miss time for the Los Angeles Clippers. This time it’s much bigger than Redick, unfortunately, as power forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely due to a staph infection in his elbow.
The news of Griffin’s staph infection came abruptly, forcing the big man to go under the knife on Monday afternoon. Initial reports suggest the 25-year old dunk artist could miss roughly 4-6 weeks, but he will at least be held out through the All-Star break and doesn’t have an exact timetable for his return.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers suggested the team will play it safe with Griffin, suggesting that this was a more serious issue, and one that L.A. would not rush it’s star power forward back from.
Griffin’s absence creates a massive hole on the Clippers, both in spirit and production. L.A. already experienced what life without Griffin will be like on Sunday afternoon, when they got blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Constantly developing his game, Griffin has turned into more than a dunker this season, expanding on an improved jumper all the way out to three-point range. Griffin’s athleticism, explosiveness, scoring and rebounding all will be greatly missed and put the Clippers at a severe disadvantage for as long as he’s out.
While Griffin is down for the moment, he will eventually return this season and the hope is that he will return to a team still locked into a playoff run. Spencer Hawes (who scored 17 points in relief on Griffin on Sunday) will temporarily take over at the four spot in the starting lineup, while the team may also lean more heavily on big man Glen Davis and their other reserves.
The loss of Griffin could also expose L.A.’s lack of depth across the board, especially when it comes to their big men. That could force the Clippers to swing a trade or sign a free agent.
For the moment, Griffin’s injury doesn’t appear to be too serious and shouldn’t impact L.A.’s bid to remain in the playoff hunt. If he can’t make it back, however, the Clippers would safely be ruled out as a legit title contender this season.
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