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Griffin told to be upfront about injuries

LOS Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin has been told to be more upfront about his injuries after being ruled out for up to six weeks with a stress fracture of his left knee.

The top overall NBA draft pick, Griffin suffered the injury during the Clippers' final preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, wincing in pain as he came down from a dunk.

The 6-foot-10-inch (2.08 metres) power forward was expected to be in the starting lineup when the Clippers open the regular season against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers later yesterday.

He told reporters after practice that even on Monday he expected to be playing until he got the result of a second scan.

"He needs to be more honest with his body and with our medical personnel. He is a warrior, he is trying to go out there and play hurt," head coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy told reporters.

"There are a lot of times he is telling us he is OK and good and really he is in some pain and trying to get through it. I think he understands that better now -- the bottom line is that he has to fully heal."

Griffin said the injury was not a huge issue and he would be able to carry on doing some fitness work while resting up his knee.

"It's a setback but it's not major, it's something I can work through and hopefully use this to work on other things to get better. It's a serious injury but not something that requires surgery," he said.

"It's disappointing obviously, especially to happen at this time but I am not going to let it get me down.

"It's one of those things -- everyone plays with a certain amount of pain but it is a fine line because you do want to play but you also want to take care of your body and not further injure yourself. That's why we went and got a second opinion."

Dunleavy said he was sure that even without the player charged with turning the team's fortunes around, he had the options to maintain a strong line-up on court.

"I think we can absorb injuries -- he's not coming in here having to be a saviour. We had a good preseason and we are pretty balanced. It is one guy going down for a period of time -- it's going to hurt some but not end our season," he said.


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