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Playa Vista, Clippers October 27 - Griffin and Dunleavy talk about the Injury

I just left a press availability with MDsr and Blake Griffin a few moments ago.  Or as I quipped with the ClipperWidow as I left the house, a 'depress availability.'  But it turned out not to be quite as depressing as I thought.

There is also a new release from the Clilppers on the injury.  Here's the text:

Los Angeles Clippers' rookie forward Blake Griffin suffered a non-displaced stress fracture of his left patella during the Clippers' last preseason game vs. the New Orlans Hornets on Friday, October 23rd. 

Griffin, who underwent an RI yesterday which confirmed the diagnosis, was examined by both team physician Dr. Steve Shimoyama as well as specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache.  Based on communication between the two physicians, it has been determined that Griffin will be sidelined for approximately six weeks.

During this time Griffin will receive bone stimulation and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatment.

Griffin originally suffered a brusied left patella during practice on Thursday, September 24th and was eventually cleared to resume full basketball activity.

Griffin, the first overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, averaged 13.7 points, 8.10 rebounds and 28.0 minutes in sever preseason games played.


Given that we're talking about the first overall pick and that tonight's game is on National TV, it was more than just myself and Lisa Dillman today.  So look for my hand holding a recorder in front of Craig Sager's face when they show the interviews on TNT tonight - or just imagine me there.  Both MDsr and Griffin handled the questions well.  The coach spoke of the added depth and particularly of the front court depth, and even had the temerity to suggest the silver lining of freeing up more minutes for guys like DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith and keeping them happy. 

And if nothing else, this is another opportunity for Blake Griffin to demonstrate what an exceptional individual he is.  He graciously answered questions, handled himself with aplomb, and came across with the same calm demeanor he always shows with the press.  We know this is monumentally frustrating for him, but he's not letting it affect him.  He referenced the confidence he has in his teammates, and just talked about staying in shape, listening to the medical pros, and getting back on the court as soon as he can.

Dena from the Clippers had the Flip camera rolling, so I expect video of both interviews up at soon.

I'm no doctor, but I do know that a non-displaced stress fracture is better than a displaced stress fracture.  I also know that the long term prognosis for a stress fracture is for 100% recovery - it just takes some time.  It must be a very minor stress fracture for the doctors to be discussing a six week recovery timeline.  I don't know much about bone stim or PRP, but Wikipedia does.

I asked MDsr if six weeks meant missing six weeks of games, or if it meant six weeks before he returns to practice.  He said it was his understanding that he'd be playing in six weeks. - "Six weeks is like fully healed, back."  He also said that Blake could play on it now, but that it just wouldn't get better if he did.

If you're wondering how restrictive this rest period will be for Griffin, I can offer a couple of insights.  He spoke multiple times about staying in condition, and while he obviously isn't going to be doing an running or jumping, he will be able to swin and otherwise train in water.  He also was walking around the training center without a brace or even a sleeve on the knee.  Basically, he's just not that badly hurt - but modern medical exams and procedures allow the doctors to know that this could get worse if it doesn't heal, so they need to shut him down and let it heal. 

It's also interesting to note that the mood in the training facility was much more somber yesterday than today, if you can believe that.  I think yesterday the unknown was hanging over everyone's head.  Today, the team knows what the situation is, and is prepared to deal with it.