Blake Griffin returns to practice, still needs to serve four-game suspension

Griffin was suspended for punching a team employee in the face. (USA Today Sports)

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Blake Griffin has missed the last 41 games due to injury, but he returned to practice with the Clippers on Saturday, and could possibly be activated in advance of L.A.’s game on Sunday against the Nuggets.

That wouldn’t mean, however, that Griffin would return to the lineup.

Once he’s been physically cleared and made an active member of the team’s roster, Griffin will need to serve a four-game suspenson for punching Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi in the face during an altercation outside of a Toronto restaurant back on Jan. 23.

Griffin broke his hand during the incident, which kept him sidelined for an additional 4-6 weeks. But he originally sustained a quad injury that had kept him out of action since the Christmas Day game against the Lakers.

L.A. went 27-14 with Griffin out of the lineup, though the team has won just twice in its last seven contests. The Clippers have 11 games left in the regular season, and appear to be on track to finish as the four-seed in the West.

Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and five assists in 34.9 minutes per game this season.