Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Blake Griffin not expected to play until April


The latest reports related to Blake Griffin’s long-awaited return to the lineup with the Los Angeles Clippers indicate the forward won’t be back on the floor in any meaningful way until the calendar flips from March to April at the earliest.

A person familiar with Griffin’s rehabilitation indicates he’s making progress and is nearing a return. But what’s perhaps most interesting is that it’s not the broken hand Griffin suffered in a fight with a team staffer in January that’s only holding him back. Instead, it is the partially torn quadriceps he suffered in a Christmas Day game that initially sidelined him that he’s still trying to overcome.

The Clippers have fared remarkably well in Griffin’s absence, going 26-11. While the team got back in the win column Wednesday night courtesy of a 122-106 victory over the Houston Rockets, the team had lost four of six before the win, with an 108-87 blowout loss at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday representing a real low point.

Members of the Clippers organization previously insisted that in order for the team to do any damage in the playoffs it will need a healthy and productive Griffin. But even when he’s cleared to play, Griffin will have to serve a four-game suspension handed down due to the aforementioned fight.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who said Griffin was “looking good” as long ago as two weeks ago, indicated again after the ugly loss to the Spurs that the team really misses the forward.

“We don’t look at the big picture right now because we’re not good enough to do that without [Griffin],” he told reporters.

It of course remains to be seen what kind of impact Griffin will have on the team upon its return. But it certainly appears the Clippers are eager — maybe even desperate — to find out.