LOS ANGELES — Injuries for any team in any sport could be the difference on whether the team has a successful season or not. The Los Angeles Clippers have three star players recovering form surgeries. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and Chauncey Billups.
The Clippers held their collective breath when Griffin had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, just 48 hours after signing a 5 year max extension with the team. Because of the timing of the surgery, Griffin couldn’t participate in the London Olympics this past summer.
Even though this surgery is on the same knee Griffin had surgery on before that sidelined him for his entire rookie season, he has already made a full recovery and will be ready to go by training camp.
Blake Griffin’s fellow teammate Chris Paul recently underwent thumb surgery on his shooting hand. Fortunately the surgery was successful. He is expected to miss training camp and the preseason, but is expected to be ready for the season opener at home against the Memphis Grizzlies Halloween night.
The timing on the news about Chris Paul couldn’t be any worse, seeing is how a veteran point guard in Billups has been inactive since February of 2012. However, sources close to the Clippers say he will be ready to go in November.
Billups was brought on mainly for his veteran championship experience on the court and leadership in the locker room. His absence was definitely missed in certain situations during last season, and more importantly in during the playoffs. The good news for the Clippers though is he’ll be back in the early part of the season.
The Clippers should be at full strength by Thanksgiving. This should give the team plenty of time to gel together throughout the season to make a stronger playoff push. In a perfect world, the Clippers would rather have all their players healthy all the time, but this isn’t a perfect world.
Fortunately for the Clippers though, these injuries are not major and they came during the off season. That said, the Clippers shouldn’t worry about these injuries effecting the team in the long run.