Fully Cleared, Blake Griffin Nearing Return For Pistons

The team has stayed afloat in his absence.

97.1 The Ticket
November 07, 2019 - 2:34 pm

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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Blake Griffin is close to making his season debut. 

After sitting out the first nine games with knee and hamstring soreness, Griffin was cleared by the Pistons medical staff on Thursday for all basketball-related activities. He has started the return-to-action phase of his rehab, the team announced, and will be monitored on a day-to-day basis. 

Detroit visits the Pacers Friday night, before coming home to face the Timberwolves on Monday. They visit the Heat the following night. 

At 4-5, the Pistons have stayed afloat in Griffin's absence. They have Andre Drummond and Luke Kennard to thank, as the two have combined for nearly 40 points per game. Drummond has been particularly strong, averaging 21.9 points and 18.6 rebounds. 

The Pistons also leaned on Derrick Rose to start the season, but he's missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. His status remains day-to-day, according to the Pistons. Same goes for backup guard Tim Frazier (shoulder strain). 

Reggie Jackson, meanwhile, will be sidelined for at least four weeks with a lower back injury. Bruce Brown has manned the point guard position in the absence of Jackson, Rose and Frazier. 

Griffin, 30, underwent a minor operation after last season to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee. He was named third-team All-NBA after he averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists and carried the Pistons back to the playoffs for the first time in three years. 

He'll look to build on that in 2019-20.