Blake Griffin Injury: Updates on Clippers Star's Back and Return

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 29, 2014

Getty Images

Updates from Wednesday, April 2

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on Griffin:

The Clippers Twitter account later confirmed Griffin would be playing tonight vs. the Suns:

Updates from Monday, March 31

Dan Woike of the Orange County Register provides a synopsis of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers discussing Blake Griffin's injury status:

The Timberwolves later confirmed Griffin's status for Monday nights game:

ESPN LA's Arash Markazi reports who will be starting in his place:

Updates from Sunday, March 30

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on Blake Griffin's injured back:

Original Text

Los Angeles Clippers star forward Blake Griffin left the floor in the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets with a back injury.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported on the ominous development:

The Clippers offered an update:

Orange County Register reporter Dan Woike had a more detailed update later on:

Woike noted that Griffin had been dealing with a sore back for several weeks:

Griffin already had seven points in six minutes versus Houston at the Toyota Center before exiting Saturday's game.

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle recently endorsed Griffin as a potential MVP candidate, per Eric Patten of

As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Griffin has been somewhat polarizing in terms of his overall development. However, he's made significant strides in the 2013-14 campaign, becoming a more complete player rather than a mere athletic marvel and dunking specialist.'s Ethan Strauss compared Griffin's developed ball-handling and passing skills in the open floor to Boris Diaw—albeit with a far more imposing frame:

Losing Griffin for any extended period of time would be devastating for coach Doc Rivers' squad, which has already dealt with the absence of superstar point guard Chris Paul for a number of games this season. The Clippers have stepped up well enough whenever someone has exited the lineup, but Griffin's improvement has been a big key in LA's immense success.

Ahead of Saturday's showdown in Houston, just one game separated the Clippers and the Rockets for third in the Western Conference standings. With the playoffs quickly approaching, Rivers has to balance battling for postseason seeding with making sure Griffin is fit enough for a potential title run.