Griffin taking it slow in return

Updated: July 18, 2010, 11:57 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LAS VEGAS -- Blake Griffin is ready. One hundred percent, totally fit, chomping at the bit to get back in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform and play a real game.

Griffin is also pretty mature for a 21-year-old.

[+] EnlargeBlake Griffin
Jack Arent/Getty ImagesBlake Griffin says he's not sure if he'll participate in next week's USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas.

So deciding whether to participate in next week's USA Basketball minicamp here in Las Vegas isn't as simple as being 100 percent and eager to get back on the court.

"I really don't know yet. I have to talk to everyone in the next few days and make sure we're all on the same page," said Griffin, the Clippers' No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009 who missed all of his rookie season because of a fractured kneecap.

"I've been working out hard all summer and I might not want to go from all summer working out to USA to playing to right into training camp. It's a matter of making sure I get enough rest. It's not a matter of reinjury."

Griffin has been practicing with the Clippers' summer league team but has not and will not play in any of the team's five games.

He has been fully cleared for all basketball-related activities for a while now, but the team wanted to be conservative with him this summer so he wouldn't overdo it before training camp.

"The doctors just feel strongly that it's best for Blake to take it at a little bit of a pace and I think that's a smart way to go about it," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.

"He wants to get out there now, he's ready to go. He's been practicing with the summer league team and looking really good, but we just have some time where we want to be smart about it. It's only been six months since his surgery. ... He feels great, though."

Though he's clearly eager to return to the court, Griffin has seemed to be onboard with the approach.

"I haven't played a game for them yet so I understand their concern," he said. "The Clippers, that's my organization, I need to be loyal to them."

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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