Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin injured his knee during a scrimmage at the U.S. Olympic training camp in Las Vegas and returned to Los Angeles for a medical examination, USA Basketball said on Thursday.
Griffin, who signed a five-year contract extension with the Clippers worth nearly $100 million this week, told officials he was experiencing discomfort in his left knee after Wednesday’s full practice.
The All-Star forward, known for his electrifying dunks, was replaced in Thursday’s game against the Dominican Republic by Anthony Davis, the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets.
USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo said Griffin’s status was uncertain and that Davis would stay with the team until it was know whether the Clippers forward would be able to compete.
“As we understand it, he hurt his knee at the end of the (NBA) season and had a decision to make about being scoped (arthroscopic surgery) or not,” Colangelo said during ESPN’s broadcast of the game.
“He decided not to. He seemed really strong at camp and had no issues. Even yesterday he had a terrific workout. He felt great last night but woke up yesterday with some discomfort and some swelling so now we wait to see what’s going to take place.”
Colangelo said it would probably be a few days before a determination could be made about Griffin’s fitness.
“I think the plan will be to take Anthony with us until we get a final decision.”
Should Griffin be forced out of the July 27-Aug. 12 London Games, it would be the latest in a long string of injuries that have hit the Olympic champions.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, and Miami’s center/forward Chris Bosh and guard Dwyane Wade have already been ruled out due to injuries.
Griffin averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 66 games last season to help the Clippers to a 40-26 record for their first winning season since 2005-06.
Following Thursday’s game in Las Vegas, the U.S. team will train in Washington, D.C., from July 13-15 and play Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16.
They continue their preparations in Manchester, England, and on July 19 will play Britain before they go to Barcelona for games against Argentina on July 22 and Spain on July 24.