LAS VEGAS (AP) Blake Griffin will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and the U.S. forward will miss the Olympics.
Griffin returned to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation after reporting discomfort in the same knee that bothered him in the playoffs following Wednesday’s practice. The Clippers said he will require arthroscopic surgery and should be ready for training camp.
“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.”
USA Basketball officials said following their 113-59 victory over the Dominican Republic on Thursday night that they hadn’t been told Griffin would be forced to pull out. Once he does, the Americans will be able to replace him on their 12-man roster, likely with Anthony Davis.
Davis, the national college player of the year, was added to the roster for the exhibition game and scored nine points in 10 minutes against the Dominicans, who were led by his college coach, John Calipari of national champion Kentucky.
The Americans love Davis’ rebounding and shot blocking, but not his youth. Griffin is older and stronger, and coach Mike Krzyzewski noted he’s played against Spain center Pau Gasol in the NBA.
“Blake is a proven commodity and if we don’t have him, it’s a big loss,” Krzyzewski said. “He was playing really well for us.”