Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee over the offseason, which resulted in him missing the first 10 games of the season. Though he ultimately returned to action and appeared in 18 games for Detroit, he never quite looked like himself, as it looked like the knee was still bothering him at times. As it turns out, it was.
On Tuesday, the Pistons announced that the six-time All-Star underwent an arthroscopic debridement of his left knee. Per the team, Griffin will now undergo an extended rehabilitation period. There is no timetable set for his return.
The #Pistons announced today that forward Blake Griffin underwent a successful arthroscopic debridement of his left knee.— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 7, 2020
Griffin will undergo an extended rehabilitation period and there is no timetable set for his return. pic.twitter.com/D3cfSUUciY
Prior to the surgery, Griffin had posted career lows in points (15.5), rebounds (4.7), minutes per game (28.4) and shooting percentage (35 percent) in the 18 games that he appeared in on the season. Given the state of the Pistons, who sit at 11th in the East with a 13-24 mark though 37 games, the expectation is Griffin will likely be sidelined for the remainder of the season, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
By the time that Griffin could even think about making a return to on-court action, Detroit will likely be very far out of the playoff picture in the East, if not eliminated entirely, especially if they trade center Andre Drummond before February's deadline as many expect them to do. Plus, Griffin still has two years and over $75 million remaining on his current contract after this season, so the Pistons have to protect their long-term interests.
An extended absence for Griffin is the latest blow in what has been an extremely disappointing campaign for a Pistons team that entered the season with postseason aspirations. Instead, they're staring down the barrel of a potential rebuild. As a result of their struggles -- Detroit is just 2-8 over their last 10 games -- Pistons owner Tom Gores made it clear recently that the organization plans to evaluate the roster leading up to the trade deadline. Griffin will likely be excluded from any trade talks, though, as it's unlikely that any team would want to acquire him -- and his contract -- while he's sidelined indefinitely following a serious surgery. Instead, the Pistons have to hope that with an extended rehab period Griffin will be able to return to form next season, at which point they could try to win with him, or look to trade him.