Blake Griffin injury update: Clippers F could return Friday vs. Lakers

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Blake Griffin injury update: Clippers F could return Friday vs. Lakers

Blake Griffin injury update: Clippers F could return Friday vs. Lakers

Blake Griffin could soon be back in action.

The Clippers forward is anticipated to return from a sprained MCL in his left knee as early as Friday against the Lakers, according to coach Doc Rivers.

"Will he play tonight? No. Will he play the next game? He actually could," Rivers said before Tuesday's win over the Kings, via ESPN. "He's that close. I didn't say he would. I said he actually could."

Griffin suffered the injury in a late November victory over the Lakers when he became entangled with Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Clippers guard Austin Rivers. He was initially given a recovery timetable of eight weeks, though he participated in shootaround ahead of Tuesday's game.

"I just know his work ethic has to have something to do with it," Rivers added after the game. "He gets a lot of heat for getting injured, but no one gives him credit for getting healthy. He works his butt off like no one I've ever seen.''

Griffin, 28, has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his eight-year NBA career, having played in 67, 35 and 61 games the past three seasons. Still, the Clippers signed him to a new five-year contract worth $173 million during the offseason.

The Clippers (14-19) tip off against the Lakers (11-21) at Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday.