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Clippers forward Blake Griffin ‘could’ be back in the lineup as soon as Friday

By in Press Enterprise on December 27, 2017

By Elliott Teaford

LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin didn’t play in the Clippers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night at Staples Center, one month and one day after suffering a sprained left knee that the team originally said could sideline him for up to two months.

Coach Doc Rivers said the All-Star power forward “actually could” play Friday against the Lakers, completing a remarkable recovery from an injury that, when combined with several other injuries to key players, threatened to send the Clippers to the bottom of the NBA standings.

“Way ahead of schedule,” Rivers said of Griffin’s impending return. “I actually don’t know the answer (why). I just know his work ethic has to have something to do with it. Blake gets a lot of heat for getting injured, but no one gives him credit for getting healthy.

“He works his butt off, I’m telling you, like no one I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here. Blake does not want to miss games. Blake wants to play, and if you could see him work in the gym, everyone would understand that.”

At one point earlier this month, four of the Clippers’ five opening-night starters were sidelined by injuries. In addition to Griffin, the Clippers on Tuesday were without Patrick Beverley, who underwent season-ending right knee surgery, and Danilo Gallinari (torn left gluteus maximus muscle).

Griffin went through a comprehensive workout during the Clippers’ shootaround Tuesday morning at their training facility in Playa Vista. He sat out for the 14th consecutive game after spraining his MCL ligament late in the Clippers’ Nov. 27 victory over the Lakers.

“Guys are, hopefully, coming back soon” Rivers said. “Everybody goes through storms. It doesn’t rain forever. You just got to weather it and try to come out of it as best you can. That’s just life. That’s how I’ve always […]    

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