Blake Griffin returns to practice after being cleared for contact

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been medically cleared for contact and will participate in his first practice of 2016 on Saturday, coach Doc Rivers said.

The five-time All-Star has yet to be activated for games and must still serve a four-game suspension once he does return to the active roster. The earliest Griffin can be activated is for Sunday's matinee against the Denver Nuggets, although Rivers was reticent to commit to any date.

"I don't know yet. We'll see. I doubt it, but I will see," Rivers said Saturday. "I don't know if one practice is enough to -- I think we got to activate him when we think he's ready to play.

"We just got to watch [Griffin]. If we go long today [at practice], which I don't think we will -- we will with some guys, but not that much -- and he goes through the whole one and looks great, then that's obviously something that we would have to think about. I don't see that. I don't think he's going to do enough for us to feel comfortable yet. But I'm not sure yet.

"It's not about the rust, though. You're going to have rust because you're not playing basketball. It's more just movement. He's moving much better."

Griffin suffered a partially torn left quadriceps tendon in the first quarter of a Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Hopeful to return to the Clippers on a January road trip, he then broke his right hand on Jan. 23 in Toronto after an altercation with a team assistant equipment manager.

Griffin's broken hand added an additional four to six weeks to his recovery time, but Rivers clarified two weeks ago that it was the quad injury from Christmas Day that was keeping him sidelined.

Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the season.