Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin has reportedly broken his hand, so we look at other similar injuries to try to estimate a return time.
Hand injuries differ, with different bones in the hand able to be broken, displaced, or whatever painful happening can occur. In an attempt to sum up when we could see Griffin’s return to the floor, here’s a look over hand injuries throughout the NBA that have taken place in the last few years.
In 2010, which would, unknowingly at the moment, contribute to Derrick Rose‘s MVP season, Bulls forward Carlos Boozer recovered for two months after fracturing fifth metacarpal bone from tripping over gym bag at home.
In the summer of 2012, Kyrie Irving suffered a broken hand, sitting out from mid-July to late September when he’d return to full practice — Irving was healthy and available by the season opener.
In 2013, two notable hand injuries occurred to star forwards: Then-Timberwolves forward Kevin Love broke hand in October (preseason) and returned in November, missing a total of nine games; Pelicans star Anthony Davis missed seven games (Dec. 3 – Dec. 17) with a fractured hand. A role player, Patrick Beverley of Houston missed a month with a fractured right hand.
Last season, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook missed 14 games (Nov. 01 – Nov. 26) with a fractured hand. Westbrook’s teammate Steven Adams, later in the season, missed a month of play after fracturing his right finger.
This season, Pelicans forward Eric Gordon and Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas both suffered fractures on the hand, with Gordon expected to miss four to six weeks of play while Valanciunas miss 17 games (Nov. 22 – Dec. 26). In Indiana, rookie center Myles Turner sat out from early November to late December after suffering a chip fracture on his thumb.
There are a few examples of players playing through fractured hand, like Elton Brand who played through a broken bone in his left hand, as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011. Wizards guard John Wall also did the same in the 2015 NBA playoffs in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Atlanta Hawks.
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For what it’s worth, in a piece covering Wall playing through his injury over at USA Today’s For The Win, Dr. Subir Jossan, hand and orthopedic surgeon, said it takes at least six weeks for any fracture in the hand to heal.
That timetable feels appropriate given his expertise and a summation and mean of the timetables missed by the listed players above. If six weeks is it for Griffin, that’d place him for a return to the floor — or at least practice — at the beginning of March, or two weeks after All-Star weekend. If the Clippers find themselves in desperation mode where their playoff lives are threatened by Griffin’s absence, which means the Clippers would have to see a huge drop off from now until after the All-Star game, four weeks could be a reasonable date as they’d force Griffin to play through the latter stage of his hands recovery, possibly outfitting himself with protective wear to keep safe on the court.
Ultimately, we won’t receive an official timetable until the injury is announced by the team, which could be revealed soon as the Clippers take the floor against the Indiana Pacers tonight and reporters will surely pester Doc Rivers with questions on the matter.