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Report: Clippers' Griffin has small back fracture

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 29 2014 09:10:20 AM CDT
Blake Griffin dunking, Los Angeles Clippers

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Last week, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin passed on playing for the U.S. national team this summer.

On Monday, a possible reason emerged.

According to ESPNLosAngeles.com, Griffin is nursing a small fracture in his back. The website reported that Griffin should be healed before the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, but that doctors advised him to rest during the offseason.

The U.S. team will compete in the FIBA World Cup of basketball in August. Griffin's spot was taken by Washington Wizards guard John Wall.

Griffin was one of 19 players originally selected.

"I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer," Griffin said in a statement last week. "It is a special opportunity anytime you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers."

Griffin, 25, averaged 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 80 starts last season. In the playoffs, he produced 23.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

Team USA will be missing another power forward, as Kevin Love also will sit out amid rumors that the Minnesota Timberwolves will trade him.