Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro is worried about his star player, Blake Griffin.
The 23-year-old, who has a history of injury problems, has been diagnosed with a burst bursa sac in his right elbow to go along with a sore neck.
That is not the type of thing Del Negro and the Clippers want to hear about a player like Griffin, who relies on his athleticism to generate scoring and rebounding.
“His elbow is a concern,” Del Negro told ESPN.com. “There’s a little bit more swelling. He’s had that for a long time but this time it seems to be a little more than normal. It affects everything when you have a bunch of fluid in your elbow.
“His neck has been stiff … We’ll see. There’s no question, it’s irritating him a little bit, but he’s fighting through it right now.”
The two-time NBA all-star missed what should have been his rookie season in 2009-10 after fracturing his left kneecap, but returned to play all 82 games the next year, capturing NBA Rookie of the Year honours.
In ’11-12 Griffin was limited to 66 games due to lingering hip pointer and knee problems. Griffin also suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee over the summer that required him to have surgery, forcing him to miss the London 2012 Games where the USA won a gold medal in men’s basketball.
The Clippers signed Griffin, who has averaged 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game during his NBA career, to a five-year $95 million contract extension prior to this season.