LA Clippers star Blake Griffin is likely to miss several weeks with a suspected broken hand after hitting the team’s assistant equipment manager, Matias Testi, during an argument at a restaurant in Toronto.
According to ESPN, Griffin and Testi got into an argument in the restaurant during the team’s trip to play the Raptors. Griffin hit Testi, who then left the restaurant and went outside. Griffin followed him outside and hit him again. Sources told ESPN that Griffin is friends with Testi, and the two had been on holiday together in the past.
Testi’s face was injured and he was treated at a local hospital, sources said. Both men were sent home after the incident.
“This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers said in a joint statement that did not detail what happened.
“We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”
Sources said the injury is expected to keep Griffin out for “a matter of weeks, as opposed to days”. The suspected fracture is unrelated to the torn quadriceps muscle that has sidelined Griffin since 26 December.
The Clippers said Griffin had X-rays on the hand Monday in Los Angeles and underwent a procedure to repair “a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal” Tuesday. The procedure was performed by Dr Steve Shin.
Griffin, who was selected first overall by the Clippers in the 2009 draft, has gone to the All-Star Game every season he has played, and helped the Clippers become a playoff contender, but, strangely, the team has experienced a hot streak without him, going 11-3 since Griffin was hurt. Having said that, only two of those wins have come against teams with records of .500 or better.
LA plays at Indiana on Tuesday and at Atlanta on Wednesday before returning home to square off with the Lakers on Friday at Staples Center.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 26th January 2016 23.22 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010