Updated: July 12, 2012, 11:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
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Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear of his left knee and, according to a Los Angeles Times report, will likely will have arthroscopic surgery early next week.
The Times, citing NBA executives, reports Griffin is expected to miss eight weeks, but should be fully recovered by the start of Clippers training camp in October.
Griffin, as a result, will miss the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
Blake Griffin is the first player to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in each of his first two seasons in the NBA since Elton Brand accomplished that feat with the Bulls in 1999-00 and 2000-01.
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“We’re relieved that this does not affect Blake’s ability to be ready in time for training camp,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement. “Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We’re glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover.”
USA Basketball said in a statement that Griffin reported he was experiencing discomfort in the knee during a scrimmage at Team USA training camp. Griffin missed Thursday night’s 113-59 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic.
The Clippers said in a statement that Griffin would undergo an MRI exam once he returns to Los Angeles and then will be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Sunday.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo suggested the soreness in Griffin’s knee was related to the injury he suffered during the 2012 NBA playoffs.
“The reality is, that injury took place at the end of the season,” Colangelo said. “And he had an option to get scoped and he opted not to get scoped. And so, I guess he aggravated it. Whether he’s able to play now remains to be seen.”
Griffin did not show any obvious signs of an injury on Wednesday, and a source told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Griffin’s knee “swelled up” after the scrimmage.
New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, the NBA’s 2012 No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky, has been asked to report to Team USA training camp in Las Vegas. Davis dressed for Team USA’s game against the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic was coached by John Calipari, Davis’ former coach at Kentucky.
Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, signed a five-year extension with the Clippers that could be worth as much as $95 million on Wednesday.
The Team USA coaching staff will be surprised if Griffin would return to the team in light of his new deal with the Clippers and his past knee injury that kept him out of what would have been his rookie season, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz.
Griffin averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 66 games last season, helping the Clippers to a 40-26 record — their first winning season since 2005-06 and their first playoff berth since then, as well. They beat Memphis in the first round, with Griffin averaging 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, before losing to San Antonio in the conference semifinals.
Griffin was the only Clippers player to play all 82 games in the 2010-11 season, averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists en route to winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award.
Davis had been added to the Hornets’ Summer League roster on Monday.
Davis was in Las Vegas last week for U.S. Olympic team tryouts, but a sore left ankle hampered his already slim chances to make the 12-man roster for the London Games.
The 6-foot-11 Davis is one of six alternates on the USA roster and thus is available to replace a player on the official Olympic roster. A source told Katz said Davis also would travel with the team to Washington on Friday for an exhibition against Brazil on Monday.
Players can be replaced on the roster in case of injury any time up to 48 hours before the start of the Olympics.
Griffin was hurt during the playoffs and struggled through the pain before the Clippers were ousted in the second round by San Antonio. After taking a couple of weeks off, he was back on the court and had been playing well for the Americans, who planned to use him at center.
The Americans lost two centers, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, to injuries before camp, along with Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul, Griffin’s Clippers’ teammate, sprained his right thumb on the first day of camp and has been sitting out scrimmages.
Information from ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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