Blake Griffin out 4-6 weeks with broken hand after punching pal

Update (10:58 p.m. ET): Blake Griffin has issued an apology on Twitter.

Update (2:47 p.m. ET): Blake Griffin is expected to miss at least four to six weeks after his alleged altercation with a team staffer, according to multiple reports.

The Clippers released a statement on Tuesday saying "this conduct has no place in our organization."

The star forward underwent a procedure and was treated by an orthopedic surgeon after returning early to Los Angeles from the team's five-game trip, the Clippers said Tuesday. He has a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand.

A person with knowledge of the incident told the Associated Press that Griffin and equipment manager Matias Testi got into an argument during a dinner that escalated. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Clippers had not confirmed those details publicly. Testi had multiple facial injuries.

About 90 minutes before Tuesday night's game at Indiana, coach Doc Rivers said he had spoken with Griffin. "I'm talking about a non-basketball issue right now, so I'm not satisfied with anything," Rivers said.

While Rivers acknowledged punishment is likely, he did not elaborate on what it might be. Instead, Rivers said, he will wait for the team, with help from league officials, to complete an investigation.

Testi and Griffin appear in many photographs that have been making the rounds on social media, and Rivers confirmed Griffin and the equipment manager had a friendly relationship. He also said he did not believe alcohol had anything to do with the incident.

"It happened, but it shouldn't happen. They were good friends," Rivers said. "It's frustrating. You don't want it to happen to anyone. You don't want it to happen during the season. You don't want it to happen after the season."

Clippers players declined to comment when the locker room was open for pregame availability.

If the timetable for his return is correct, Griffin would miss the All-Star game Feb. 14 in Toronto, where he could have been picked as a reserve.

But Rivers believes it will take Griffin even longer to make it back.

"I always say four to six weeks with a broken hand is unrealistic; that's just my opinion," he said. "We have to fight through it because we are in a tough conference."

Griffin was nearing a return from another injury. He has been out since Dec. 26 with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon.

The Clippers are 11-3 in Griffin's absence and in second place with a 28-16 record in the Pacific Division.

Last fall, Griffin was involved in a fight in a Las Vegas nightclub. A man accused him of taking his cellphone and grabbing him after the man photographed Clippers players inside the club. The misdemeanor battery case later was dropped after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence.

Rivers said he spoke with Griffin about that incident at the time, too, and that Griffin and his teammates will now have to learn a tough lesson the hard way.

"It's our job sometimes (as coaches) to teach life lessons," Rivers said. "Having said that, you have to learn from it — not only him but us, too."

(AP)

Update (11:18 a.m. ET): Reports are coming in that link Blake Griffin's broken hand to an altercation with a member of the team's equipment staff during a stop in Toronto on the team's recent road trip.

ESPN's Michael Eaves and Dan Woike of the OC Register tweeted about it.

Original story follows:

Los Angeles Clippers star power forward Blake Griffin suffered a suspected fracture in his right hand, according to a report by ESPN.com

The injury reportedly occurred during a "team-related incident" and could keep Griffin, who has missed the past 14 games since being sidelined with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon on Dec. 26, out for "a matter of weeks, as opposed to days."

The Orange County Register confirmed the injury on Tuesday morning.

An injury update is expected to be provided on Tuesday.

Griffin had hoped to return from his quad injury during the team's current five-game road trip, but was reportedly sent back to Los Angeles on Sunday to further rehab his quad

Clearly there was more to the story.

The Clippers have gone 11-3 in Griffin's absence, which sounds more impressive than it is. Only two of those victories have come against teams with records above .500, and the Clips have dropped three of their past five as the competition has stiffened.

It's unfair to speculate what exactly caused the injury, but Griffin being sent home after breaking his hand because of an "undisclosed team-related incident" sounds troubling.

This is another unfortunate turn of events for Griffin, who was enjoying a career season before being sidelined right after Christmas. 

With the All-Star Game less than three weeks away, it seems like he'll be unlikely to play in it for the second straight season (if he's even voted in after missing so much time). If Griffin misses a few weeks — which is being optimistic, as hand injuries can sometimes take up to two months — he would miss another 15 games or so.

Though Los Angeles almost certainly wouldn't lose its playoff spot — the Clippers have an eight-game lead on the No. 8 seed Sacramento Kings — it could drop them a seed or two in the standings. The Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets have found their footing lately, and could challenge the Clippers for the final home-court spot.

In all likelihood, Griffin's injury will prevent the Clippers from nabbing the No. 3 spot from the Oklahoma City Thunder — it was a long shot, anyway, but they were only a game back as recently as last week.

The Clippers close out their road trip with games in Indiana on Tuesday and in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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