Clippers’ superstar power forward Blake Griffin is set for surgery Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow.
It remains unclear how many games Griffin will miss while recovering, but the team said Sunday that he could be out anywhere from 10 days to six weeks.
That’s a big time frame for a team that has gone from third to sixth in the Western Conference during its recent road trip.
So let’s look at what this could mean for the Clippers, who have lost four games in a row and are 2-5 on their eight-game “Grammy” trip.
Best-case scenario: Griffin is out for 10 days. That would mean he’d miss very few games because the All-Star break begins Feb. 12 and extends through the 18th for the Clippers. He’d miss only Monday’s game against Dallas, Wednesday’s game against Houston and the Feb. 19 game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Worst-case scenario: Griffin is out for six weeks. That would mean he would be sidelined until March 23, missing 19 games. The Clippers, with a record of 33-19 and playing in an ultra-competitive conference in which just a few games separate the top teams, have 30 games left this season, and Griffin would then play in just 11 of them.
Griffin is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 50.1%
The amount of time a staph can sideline someone varies greatly.
Former Clipper Grant Hill missed the entire 2003-04 season because of a staph infection he sustained after ankle surgery, and he needed intravenous antibiotics for six months. On the other hand, forward Paul Pierce was out one week with a staph infection in his left elbow during the 2006-07 season.
“It’s one of those things you don’t know where exactly it came from, but it could be deadly,” Hill told The Times on Monday. “And also, it could be something that you catch early enough, and hopefully that’s what is happening in Blake’s case. Hopefully it all goes well and he’s back out there soon.”