All-Star Clippers forward Blake Griffin will be out with a staph infection in his right elbow that will require surgery. The timetable is unclear at the moment, but he will be out indefinitely, and will be reevaluated after the All-Star break.
Griffin is expected to be out for at least 12 days and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. The surgery will be performed by Neal ElAttrache, the same doctor who performed rotator cuff surgery on Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.
The 25-year-old was voted in as a starter for the fifth consecutive All-Star Game and is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists for the 33-18 Clippers. He likely will be replaced in the starting lineup by Spencer Hawes, who averages 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17.0 minutes a game.
The Clippers announced today, along with the initial news, that he will have the surgery Monday to remove the staph infection. This of course takes Griffin out of the All-Star game. Griffin was the third leading vote getter for the Western Conference among forwards behind Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol.
If Griffin is able to return immediately after the All-Star break, he will have missed three games. Since missing his entire first NBA season, Griffin has missed only four games the past five seasons. The Clippers have gone 2-2 in those games.
The injury allowed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to select Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard to the All-Star team. His starting spot (along with Bryant’s) will be decided by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Right now the Clippers are sixth in Western Conference at 33-18, only a half game in front of San Antonio and four and half in front of Phoenix. Spencer Hawes will likely take his place in the starting lineup. The veteran forward is averaging 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds on 42.2 percent shooting, a career-low.