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Blake Griffin could miss 2 months with sprained MCL, per report

Clippers may be without their biggest star until February.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin could miss two months with a sprained MCL, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Griffin suffered his injury on Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers when teammate Austin Rivers accidentally rolled into his leg, buckling it inwards.

You can see video of the injury here. It’s not graphic, but it is uncomfortable looking, so you might want to skip this video if you’re squeamish to these sorts of things.

This is yet another injury for Griffin, who has suffered a litany of them. He has missed time in his career with a broken toe, right knee surgery, a broken hand, a torn left quadricep, back spasms, and even a staph infection.

There’s nothing Griffin could have done about Rivers rolling up onto his knee, unfortunately. (It also wasn’t Lonzo Ball’s fault, like Doc Rivers tried to suggest.) But this really does feel like yet another chapter in the Clippers’ cursed injury history.

What does this mean for the Clippers?

Griffin’s absence is a huge blow to Los Angeles. While the Clippers have survived injuries to Griffin in past seasons, they no longer have Chris Paul to buoy the team in his absence. The Clippers are also in a bad spot — after starting 5-2, they lost nine straight before rebounding with wins in their last three games.

A huge part of the struggles this season have been injuries, somewhat predictably. Griffin’s injury is an uncontrollable one, with someone running directly into his knee. However, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic have both missed time as well, and Patrick Beverley was lost for the year. All three players have injury history in their recent past.

Without Griffin, the Clippers have little-to-no scoring. They could still try to lean back on a defensive approach with DeAndre Jordan in the middle ... but they haven’t even been great on that end this year, ranking No. 19 in the league.

Does this put them out of the playoff race?

The Clippers are only a half game back of the Utah Jazz, who currently hold the No. 8 seed. Still, if Griffin is going to be out that long, it’s hard to see Los Angeles treading water enough to be within striking distance once he returns.

One team above them, too, is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Most of the league still expects their talent to win out and the Thunder to find solutions for their struggles. If Oklahoma City gets back into the playoff picture, then the amount Los Angeles needs to climb back into this is ever larger. And this is a team that asks Griffin to play an enormous role and that will find his skill set hard to replicate.

At least Los Angeles has a first-round pick, especially since their 2019 pick will be owed to Boston.

What does this mean for Griffin?

Griffin is expected to return this season, which is good news after seeing how bad that injury looked. Technically, the forward has suffered at least three season-ending injuries, although two of them happened during the playoffs. Still, that’s a lot of missed time.

This was supposed to be Griffin’s season to break out away from Paul, to even become an MVP candidate. While Griffin had been playing slightly better than his career, that hadn’t quite happened. Now, he’s about to miss eight weeks.

Griffin once missed time because he punched a team assistant, and he can’t avoid being run into by Austin Rivers on a loose ball. But even if some of his injuries have been unlucky, this won’t help him shed his injury-prone label that has been assigned over the past few years.

On the positive side, Griffin signed a $173 million deal over the summer that isn’t going anywhere. Hopefully, he can recover quickly.