Griffin withdrew from Team USA practice to allow back to heal…
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has downplayed fears over his back injury and insists that he didn’t want to make the injury worse by competing all summer.
The 25-year-old sustained a small fracture in his back and left the Team USA camp last month after the medical staff advised him against playing in the FIBA World Cup to allow his injury time to heal ahead of the next NBA season.
Griffin listened to their advice and returned home, but he has been working out with Clippers team-mate DeAndre Jordan and Sasha Vujacic in Los Angeles over the past week or so.
However, Griffin believes that it was the correct decision to leave the national team as he wouldn’t have allowed his back sufficient time to heal with the tournament finishing on September 14.
“It’s less than a hairline, and my back is not fractured. Everything is still intact,” Griffin told the Los Angeles Times.
“I can still come out here, and I can do my workouts, and I can do everything I used to do. I just shouldn’t be playing and practicing every day this early.”
Griffin insists that he didn’t want to go into Clippers training camp having made the problem worse by competing this summer, which ultimately would have set him back further in his recovery in such a demanding schedule with the NBA.
As a result, the grind of playing all summer, through the regular season and then playoffs was too much of a risk to take without suitably resting his back, and although he tried to dampen fears over the extent of the injury, he deemed it serious enough to opt out of travelling to Spain later this month.
Griffin averaged 24.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season as the Clippers reached the second round of the playoffs, and their expectations continue to rise under coach Doc Rivers as they look to build on the experiences of last year.