LOS ANGELES, CA — The Clippers organization has announced today that power forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the postseason due to a plantar plate injury in the big toe of his right foot.
On Friday, Griffin suffered a toe injury after landing awkwardly following a transition layup during Game 3 of the first round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. With 3:18 left during the first half on Friday, he went to the sideline, slapped a chair on the bench and yelled, “It is worse than I thought,” before exiting the court
and heading to the locker room.
Griffin did not return to the game. He finished the game with 11 points, six rebounds and two assists in just 18 minutes of play.
The X-ray results came out negative, but Griffin was re-evaluated after the game. Surgery is a possibility for Griffin, who will remain in Salt Lake City while wearing a walking boot. The five-time NBA All-Star forward will visit a foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel for rehabilitation and treatment once the Clippers return to Los Angeles on Sunday.
Griffin has been plagued by injuries throughout the majority of his career, including last year’s playoffs when he suffered a quad injury in Game 4 of the first round series against Portland. Not returning to play, the Clippers were eventually eliminated in six games.
His injury marks another playoff blow to a franchise that has dealt with a series of bad luck in the recent years. Last year, Griffin and Paul were both lost to injuries as the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead against Houston in 2015. In 2013, the Clippers were up 2-0 before losing to Memphis in six games after Griffin stepped on teammate Lamar Odom and injured his ankle.
At the heights of his career, Griffin missed 18 straight games earlier this season after undergoing surgery on his right knee. He led the Clippers in scoring and rebounding this season averaging 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
With the entire team healthy, the Clippers had hopes of challenging Golden State in the second round of this year’s playoffs. Those hopes took a major hit with Griffin unable to play.
Now with Blake’s absence, the Clippers again will be tasked with winning in the postseason without him. With a 2-1 series lead, the Clippers should be fine without Griffin as the Jazz are somewhat in a similar situation without their star player Rudy Gobert.
Chris Paul said Saturday, “We’ll worry about the game when its that time, but right now its about consoling one of the leaders of our team who this means more to him than anything.” Paul led the Clippers back from a second-half deficit with a fourth-quarter takeover. The Clippers star point guard finished with a season-high 34 points, leading the Clippers to a 111-106 victory over Utah giving them a 2-1 lead in the series.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers stated, “He’s too good of a guy for this to continue to happen. There’s going to be some kind of sunshine for him at some point. You’ve just got to weather the storm.”
The Jazz will host the Clippers for Game 4 on Sunday, April 23rd.