Blake Griffin to return soon

DALLAS -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to return to the team on Sunday or Tuesday, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Griffin went through a full workout in Los Angeles without any limitations Friday during the Clippers' 129-99 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas. The plan is for him to return Sunday against the Houston Rockets, but there is a chance the Clippers will want to see him go through a practice and a shootaround with the team first, pushing his return to Tuesday against the Hornets.

Sunday's game against Houston starts at 12:30 p.m. local time, and the Clippers will not practice or hold a shootaround before then after returning to Los Angeles on Saturday from their road trip.

Griffin has been sidelined for the past 15 games after undergoing surgery to remove a staph infection from his right elbow.

"He's working out great," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Friday. "He's doing great. He had a hard workout today and went through it. I know he went very hard today, and that's a good sign."

Rivers would say only that Griffin was "very close" to returning. So close, in fact, that there was an outside shot Griffin was going to fly to Dallas to play in Friday's game despite not traveling with the team on its two-game road trip to Oklahoma City and Dallas.

"I think it's possible," Rivers said of Griffin playing Sunday. "I think every day, including today, was in play."