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Clippers' Blake Griffin says knee surgery is 'best choice'

January 14, 2010 | 12:33 pm

Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin said today the knee surgery that will postpone his NBA debut until next season was "frustrating" but also the "best choice for me."

Griffin is scheduled to have surgery Jan. 20 in Los Angeles after an injury to his left kneecap -- which occurred in the Clippers' final preseason game Oct. 23 -- did not heal as hoped despite weeks of rehabilitation.

In a news conference at the Clippers' training facility in Playa Vista, Griffin said he was "obviously disappointed" but that "it’s better to take care of it now and not have to deal with it in the future.”

"This has been a possibility in the back of my mind that it might have to happen," he said of surgery, "so it made it a little bit easier to process and transition to actually having to make this decision. It’s frustrating but at the same time this is the best choice for me.”

Griffin, the NBA's No. 1 draft pick, said he began noticing that the knee was aggravated during drills toward the end of last week.

"It's not nearly the pain that I had when it first happened," he said. But it was "one of those things where I wouldn’t be able to have full strength, I’d be playing at 75% for the rest of the season," Griffin said. "I’d much rather get this done now and be able to play 100% at the beginning of next season."

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Clippers rookie Blake Griffin signing basketballs at Staples Center on Sept. 28. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times