Blake Griffin estimated before Monday's practice that he should be back at full strength very soon.
"I think over the next week to 10 days I probably should be close," Griffin said. "But again, I don't really know, I'm just speculating."
The Clippers' superstar power forward missed 15 games because of a staph infection in his right elbow that required surgery Feb. 9. He returned to the court March 15 against the Houston Rockets. Since then, the Clippers have gone 4-1.
After his first game back, Griffin said his strength was only at 60%, and that shooting from 10 feet felt as though he was shooting from 15 feet.
"Since then, it's been steadily improving," he said.
Griffin had double-doubles in his first three games back. And the last two games, he scored 22 and 23 points, respectively.
Over the last five games, Griffin has averaged 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists, only a slight dip in points from what he was averaging before he was sidelined -- 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game.
He said that certain aspects of his game, though, still need much improvement.
"Taking care of the ball and shooting more confidently," he said. "That will just come with time."
Griffin, however, acknowledged that he's a bit of a perfectionist who is never satisfied with his performance.
"I'm hard on myself," he said.
According to Clippers' point guard Chris Paul, Griffin has been performing at a very high level since his return.
"You forget that he was out," Paul said. "I didn't even realize that it was five weeks. It was that long? That's crazy. It just shows how committed he is to the team, and how hard he works, and why he's a freak of nature."