- (PHOTO/Blake Griffin) Twitter: @YouBigDummy
Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Blake Griffin's dreams for an Olympic gold medal have been crushed following a knee injury that has left him with a torn medial meniscus which requires knee surgery.
The 23-year-old is now out of the London Olympics after being diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear of his left knee, and critics suspect that the New Orleans Hornets' Anthony Davis will replace him.
The injury will force Griffin to miss eight weeks but he is expected to make a full recovery by the start of the Clippers' training camp in October, according to ESPN.
"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement.
"Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover," he added.
Griffin was forced to leave Team USA on Thursday and return to Los Angeles after experiencing discomfort and swelling in his left knee. Just a day prior, he had signed a 5-year, $95-million contract extension with the Clippers.
"Happy to officially sign my extension to #clippernation for 5 more years. Can't wait. Thanks for all the support," Griffin tweeted on social networking site Twitter.
It is still unclear what exactly caused the injury, although experts suspect that a collision with Wizards point guard John Wall during Wednesday's practice is to blame.
Griffin is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery early next week and his injury has opened up the door for Davis, Wall's fellow Kentucky alum, to make the Olympic team as a replacement.
"If we don't have him, that's a big loss," Team U.S.A Coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Griffin after beating the Dominican Republic 113-59.
"Blake was playing really well. He said he did something in the playoffs and whatever he did here probably tweaked what happened there," he added.
Fans flocked to Twitter following news of Griffin's departure to weigh in on Griffin's departure from Team USA.
"Now Blake griffin out of the Olympics, no wade, rose, bosh, Howard already. Thank god they have loads of other stars #London2012," Nathan Collins tweeted.
"Blake Griffin isn't going to be able to play in the Olympics :( *tear*" Kelli Westhues tweeted.
"Blake Griffin tore his meniscus! NOOOOO!" Charles F. Scott IV tweeted.