Pistons' Blake Griffin Won't Return vs. Rockets with Knee Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is dealing with a knee injury that will keep him out for the second half of Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets

Per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, Griffin has soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. 

Injuries have taken their toll on Griffin through the years. After missing just four games in his first four years on an NBA court, the 6'9", 250-pound big man has averaged just 59.2 games over the past five seasons entering 2019-20. 

He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in April. Though he was expected to be ready for the start of the season, he wound up missing the first 10 games with knee and hamstring issues.

The six-time All-Star was averaging 17.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 13 appearances this season—both career lows—entering Saturday's matchup.

Back in September, Griffin told The Athletic's James L. Edwards III that he's open to load management and sitting out if it helps keep his body fresh. Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski noted the team planned on keeping an eye on its veterans, as it did not want to "run them into the ground."

If Detroit is going to make the postseason for the second consecutive year and advance beyond the first round for the first time since 2008, having a healthy Griffin figures to be key. When he is out, the team will likely turn to veteran Markieff Morris to fill in at power forward.