Clippers' Griffin says he feels 'great'

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- There was some good news on the final night of this most ragged of seasons for the Clippers. Blake Griffin says he feels "great."

"It feels great," last-June's No. 1 overall draft pick said of his surgically repaired knee that has caused him to miss his entire rookie season.

"It's been a long year; it's been tough to sit out. But from my point of view, my rookie year is next year and I've got an up close and personal look at what I need to do and what I need to be prepared for. "

He's also go an up close and personal view of the dysfunction and bad luck that routinely follows the Clippers.

"We had an All Star [Chris Kaman] on our team this year," he said. "We had five guys get traded. Our head coach stepped down and then our GM stepped down. It's been a crazy year so hopefully it's prepared me for what I might encounter throughout the rest of my career."

Griffin said that he's not putting any timetables on his rehabilitation but expects to be fully recovered by the time training camp starts next fall. He also left the door open to playing in the Las Vegas Summer League this July, but he noted that decision will be up to the Clippers brass.

Currently he's able to lift weights and run on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill. He has an appointment Thursday with the surgeon who operated on his left knee in January. After that, he's hoping to soon be cleared to run on a regular treadmill but there are no official or targeted dates for that.

"The good thing about this injury is, I mean it's not good (because the Clippers aren't in the playoffs) but I'm not coming back to play immediately this season so I'm not worried about exact dates," Griffin said. "I'll have all summer to work out.

"Obviously I'd much rather be out there playing all year, but the way I see it, I still have my rookie year. I didn't really put any miles on my body so to speak. I'm starting over."

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.