There were some mixed signals coming from Blake Griffin when he met with the media before practice Thursday about the possibility of his return Friday against the Lakers.
The “I don’t know” response from Griffin when asked if he was ready to play left his status uncertain.
But he followed it up with a ‘it’s a good day” indicating that there is at least the possibility of his return from a sprained left medial collateral ligament in his left knee that has kept him out the last 14 games.
Later in the day after practice, the Clippers listed Griffin as questionable to play in the Lakers’ home game at Staples Center.
Also, the Clippers listed forward Wesley Johnson as questionable for the game after missing the last five with a sore left foot.
Griffin practiced with the development league team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, on Wednesday, but was back with his teammates on Thursday.
But when he was asked if he was playing against the Lakers, Griffin was not sure.
“I don’t know,” Griffin said. “Kind of taking each day one day at a time. I haven’t really put a lot of thought into anything else. I’m just attacking the rehab and every challenge that they give me every single day. So, it’s all kind of subjective on how things go.”
Griffin said it’ll be a group decision made by “everybody” that will determine if he plays for the first time since getting injured against the Lakers on Nov. 27.
“That’s why we have the team doctors,” he said. “That’s why we have the training staff that we do. They have done a great job so far putting together obviously a rehab plan and pushing me and getting to this point. So, it’ll continue to be a team thing.”
When Griffin was first injured, the Clippers announced that he could be out up to eight weeks.
It turns out Griffin will be back in just about half that time.
“I was kind of under the assumption it was off of feel. I think that was like the timeline that was put out,” Griffin said. “But at the end of the day, it ultimately depends on how you feel, how things progress. So I think we’ve taken a little bit each step that I’ve had to have. We’ve kind of gone off that.”
Griffin said he was “definitely relieved” that the injury didn’t require surgery.
“I was hoping for a sprain or something like that,” Griffin said. “It was really the first time I haven’t had to have surgery during the season. I haven’t had to rehab coming back from surgery. So it’s been a much different experience not having to go through that. It came along a lot faster. You just feel better.”
And now, Griffin said, he hasn’t had any issues with his knee.
He’s just waiting to be cleared to play.
“I haven’t felt any pain or any challenges or goals that they’ve set for me at any point through this whole process,” Griffin said. “But as far as tomorrow, that’ll be a decision that we make as a team.”