Thursdays Team USA exhibition game against the Dominican Republic featured a roster change after Blake Griffin’s knee once again stopped him from playing. The Clipper forward first damaged his left knee during the first round of the NBA playoffs in May.
Griffin was flown to Los Angeles for an MRI and to be examined by the Clippers’ medical staff. His is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. Dr. ElAttrache performed surgery on Griffin’s stress fractured left kneecap in January, 2010: which caused him to miss his 2009-10 rookie season with the Clippers.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said there had been no indication anything was wrong after practice on Wednesday. “He showed no indication of any problem since he’s been here,” Colangelo stated. “Obviously he may have tweaked it. But he had discomfort. That’s the only way I can describe it and it resulted in some swelling. I saw him last night and he was just fine.” Wednesday was the same day Griffin signed a five-year, $95-million, contract extension with the Clippers.
Citing unnamed NBA executives not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, The Los Angeles Times reported that Griffin has a torn meniscus. They stated he would have an arthroscopy and be unable to play for eight weeks. Griffin is expected to be well enough to participate in training camp.
With Griffin sidelined, The U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team called up alternate Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets. The forward was top pick by the New Orleans Hornets in the June draft. Davis was one of the finalists to make the 12-man Olympic roster, but was prevented from practicing with the team last week because of a sprained ankle.
Since Team USA Basketball announced the 20-man preliminary roster in January, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have withdrawn because of injuries. Lamar Odom withdrew to concentrate on the upcoming season.
The official roster is due just before Olympics begin, after which no changes or additions can be made, regardless of injuries.
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