CLIPPERS

Blake Griffin could be back Sunday

Blake Griffin might return from staph infection Sunday against Golden State

Though neither Blake Griffin nor Doc Rivers was definitive about when the power forward would play again, the Clippers coach said "there's a chance" Griffin could play Sunday at Golden State.

Griffin has been out 11 games after having surgery for a staph infection in his right elbow.

Griffin worked out while the Clippers were on their recent four-game trip.

"I'll be back," Griffin said Wednesday night while walking down the hallway inside Staples Center. "It's slow, though. But I'm doing good."

Rivers said Griffin's health has improved over the last few days.

"He's a lot better," Rivers said. "He's working out. He was doing some shooting [Tuesday], from what I hear. I didn't actually see it. So, yeah, there's a chance for Sunday."

The Clippers don't play for three more days, giving Griffin more time to rest and practice. They won't practice Thursday, but Rivers said they will practice Friday and Saturday.

Rivers was asked if Griffin needed to practice before he played in a game.

"It would be important, obviously," Rivers said. "But if they [team doctors] told me he was cleared to play and hadn't had a practice, I'd still play him and just figure even a rusty Blake is pretty good. But it just so happens if he does play Sunday, we will have two practices. So he'll be able to get that."

Spencer Hawes has started at power forward in place of Griffin, and Rivers said Hawes probably has played his best basketball of the season since he's become a starter.

"Clearly, I think Spencer is playing better," Rivers said. "The minutes have benefited him."

Injury update

Jamal Crawford rode into Staples Center on a cart, a clear indication that he wasn't playing against the Trail Blazers. Crawford didn't play because of a right calf bruise.

Matt Barnes sat out his second consecutive game because of a right hamstring injury.

Etc.

Jordan Hamilton's 10-day contract expires Thursday, but Rivers said "most likely the answer is yes," about signing the forward to another 10-day deal.

"We've talked about it," Rivers said. "But we have a day or so."

Hamilton started his second consecutive game at small forward in place of Barnes.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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