Last week, during Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs, LA Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin landed badly on his foot, and was taken to the locker room for an injury evaluation. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that he’d suffered a plantar plate injury to his right big toe and he’d miss the rest of the playoffs. On Tuesday, the star saw a foot and ankle specialist, but the team has not yet decided whether Griffin will undergo surgery. If he does, his 4-6 month recovery period could also see him missing the start of training for the 2017-18 season.
A plantar plate injury occurs when the toe’s strong supporting ligament, located in the ball of the foot, is damaged. The injury can be acute—sustained suddenly, especially during athletic activity—or chronic, where damage slowly accumulates over time.
While many plantar plate injuries do require surgical repair, less invasive treatments can be effective in some instances. In those cases, treatment options include the use of supportive foot wear and/or custom orthotic devices, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, toe splinting and, in certain case, the use of cortisone injections.
While Griffin’s treatment course remains to be determined, one thing seems very clear: the Clippers will have to step up their game or face an early playoffs elimination. As coach Doc Rivers said, ““Everyone has to do more when you lose a guy like a Blake…we need two or three other guys to make up the Blake difference. I would love one guy to have the numbers of a Blake in one game. That would be sweet. I don’t know who that’s going to be.”