Blake Griffin, the high-flying powerful forward of the Los Angeles Clippers, just might be grounded for the London Games. And rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 draft pick of the New Orleans Hornets, elevates in the meantime.
Griffin flew to Los Angeles for an MRI on his left knee, which was sprained during the NBA playoffs, after awaking with swelling and discomfort.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said there had been no indication anything was wrong after practice Wednesday, the same day Griffin signed a five-year contract extension with the Clippers that could be worth as much as $95 million.
“We’re just awaiting word from the Clippers regarding his status,” Colangelo said. “He showed no indication of any problem at all since he’s been here. Obviously, he may have tweaked it. But he had discomfort; that’s the only way I can describe it and it resulted in some swelling. I saw him last night and he was just fine. He didn’t go down grabbing his knee or in a collision. He had a very strong workout yesterday.”
In the meantime, Davis, the former Kentucky star who was sidelined because of injury during the trials, has been asked to return to the team for practice. Davis remained in Las Vegas as a member of the U.S. select team (although he traveled to Los Angeles for the ESPYs on Wednesday) that scrimmaged against the Olympic team, although limited to being a spectator as his ankle healed. But he has made enough progress that he was expected to start Thursday night in the exhibition game against the Dominican Republic.
“That’s as far as we’re going while we’re awaiting word from the Clippers” on Griffin, Colangelo said of expectations for Davis, who is an alternate and could be added to the 12-man roster.
In a statement, the Clippers said Griffin also will be examined Sunday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Southern California.
“An announcement concerning their joint conclusion and a further course of action will be made available by the Clippers, as soon as possible after that,” the statement ended.