The Los Angeles Clippers have targeted Jan. 20 as the night they hope rookie forward Blake Griffin finally makes his NBA debut, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
The Clippers play the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center on Jan. 20 before departing for an eight-game road trip. Griffin, the top pick in the 2009 draft, has yet to play because of a stress fracture in his left kneecap. If Griffin is healthy enough to face the Bulls, he’ll play limited minutes.
Griffin began doing on-court workouts with Clippers assistant coach Fred Vinson on Dec. 28, but isn’t expected to be cleared for contact until the middle of this month. Griffin hasn’t put on any additional weight, despite the layoff and has worked on his 3-point shot and ball handling. He’ll likely come off the bench once he does return.
UPDATE: The Clippers emphatically deny such a target date exists. They maintain that the injury is too uncertain in nature to zero in on a specific date, particualrly before Griffin resumes basketball-related activity, much less full-contact practice.