Thursday, July 12, 2012
Updated: July 13, 12:46 PM ET
Blake Griffin to miss Olympics
ESPN.com news services
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee and, according to a Los Angeles Times report, will likely have arthroscopic surgery early next week.
The Times, citing NBA executives, reports Griffin is expected to miss eight weeks but should be recovered by the start of Clippers training camp in October.
Griffin, as a result, will miss the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement. "Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover."
New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, the NBA's No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky, was named to replace Griffin on Team USA's 12-man roster Friday.
Davis dressed for a 113-59 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
USA Basketball said in a statement that Griffin reported he was experiencing discomfort in the knee during a scrimmage at Team USA training camp. Griffin missed Thursday's game.
"Blake worked extremely hard in our training camp and certainly would have been a valuable contributor," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. "This is another unfortunate injury, but we have to continue to move on and we're very fortunate to have Anthony Davis available. Anthony offers our team additional height and length, and this will be an incredible experience for him."
The Clippers said in a statement that Griffin would undergo an MRI exam once he returned to Los Angeles and then will be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Sunday.
Colangelo suggested the soreness in Griffin's knee was related to an injury he suffered during the 2012 NBA playoffs.
"The reality is, that injury took place at the end of the season," Colangelo said. "And he had an option to get scoped and he opted not to get scoped. And so, I guess he aggravated it."
Griffin did not show any obvious signs of an injury on Wednesday, and a source told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Griffin's knee "swelled up" after the scrimmage.
The Dominican Republic was coached by John Calipari, Davis' former coach at Kentucky.
Griffin, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, signed a five-year extension with the Clippers on Wednesday that could be worth as much as $95 million. A knee injury caused him to miss his rookie season.
Griffin averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 66 games last season, helping the Clippers to a 40-26 record -- their first winning season since 2005-06 and their first playoff berth since then, as well. They beat Memphis in the first round, with Griffin averaging 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, before losing to San Antonio in the conference semifinals.
Griffin was the only Clippers player to play all 82 games in the 2010-11 season, averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists en route to winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year award.
Davis had been added to the Hornets' summer league roster Monday.
Davis was in Las Vegas last week for U.S. Olympic team tryouts, but a sore left ankle hampered his already slim chances to make the 12-man roster for the London Games.
The 6-foot-11 Davis was one of six alternates on the USA roster. Players can be replaced on the roster in case of injury any time
up to 48 hours before the start of the Olympics.
Griffin was hurt during the playoffs and struggled through the pain before the Clippers were eliminated. After taking a couple of weeks off, he was back on the court and had been playing well for the Americans, who planned to use him at center.
The Americans lost two centers, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, to
injuries before camp, along with Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.
Chris Paul, Griffin's Clippers teammate, sprained his right thumb
on the first day of camp and has been sitting out scrimmages.
Information from ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher, ESPN.com's Marc Stein, ESPN.com's Andy Katz, ESPN.com's J.A. Adande and The Associated Press contributed to this report.