The Los Angeles Clippers have been without Blake Griffin since Christmas Day 2015 but, according to reports this weekend, the perennial All-Star's absence could be nearing its conclusion.
That's after team head coach Doc Rivers confirmed on Saturday that Griffin would practice with the team over the weekend, leading to speculation that he could be activated today.
Griffin has been out of action with quad and hand injuries in recent months and must serve a four-game suspension before being able to return to the court.
Article continues below
Nevertheless, the fact that the forward appears near to full health is a big boost for the franchise as the playoffs fast approach.
If Griffin is activated today, it would mean a potential return against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, April 3. That would give him seven regular-season games in which to find his rhythm before the Clippers embark on postseason basketball.
Under normal circumstances, the 27-year-old would, of course, have been able to return to the hardwood as soon as he was healthy.
Unfortunately for L.A. and Griffin, the altercation with a Clippers staff member in Toronto back in January that left the star with a broken hand also landed him with a four-game suspension. That suspension cannot begin until Griffin is activated.
Although the Los Angeles franchise have, for the large part, coped well without Griffin, they've struggled against their fellow rivals at the top of the Western Conference.
Having him back sooner rather than later could, then, prove crucial in their bid to reach the NBA Finals.