LAS VEGAS — Blake Griffin aggravated a left knee injury during U.S. Olympic team training camp and has returned to Los Angeles for evaluation.
The Clippers forward went through a full practice Wednesday before reporting discomfort, USA Basketball said. Griffin will miss the Americans’ first exhibition game Thursday night. His status for Monday’s U.S. exhibition against Brazil at Verizon Center is unclear.
The Clippers, who just signed Griffin to a five-year, $95 million extension, said the All-Star will undergo an MRI and be examined by the Clippers’ medical staff upon his arrival. He also will be examined Sunday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic and his status will be updated after that.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis is returning to Las Vegas and could be in uniform when the Americans face the Dominican Republic, a person with knowledge of the details said, confirming a Yahoo Sports report. The Dominicans are led by John Calipari, Davis’ coach at Kentucky.
Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, is a team alternate after failing to make the 12-man roster. He had sprained his ankle in a workout with the New Orleans Hornets and wasn’t able to scrimmage in the first two days of camp before the Americans picked their roster, robbing him of any chance to grab a spot.
But USA Basketball had asked him to stick around on the select team of young players that is training against the Americans, in case an injury popped up. He was in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the ESPY Awards, but is returning to Las Vegas on Thursday.
Players can be replaced on the roster in case of injury any time up to 48 hours before the start of the Olympics.
Griffin was hurt during the playoffs and struggled through the pain before the Clippers were ousted in the second round by San Antonio. After taking a couple of weeks off, he was back on the court and had been playing well for the Americans, who planned to use him at center.
The Americans lost two centers, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, to injuries before camp, along with Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul, Griffin’s Clippers teammate, sprained his right thumb on the first day of camp and has been sitting out scrimmages.