NBA: Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard ‘progressing well’ but no return date in sight
The return of Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard remains up in the air.
Coach Tyronn Lue saying Leonard is “progressing well” in his return from knee issues but that the team is exercising caution and has no specific timetable for his return to the floor.
“We knew coming off an ACL, it wasn’t going to be a straight line,” Lue said before Sunday’s 110-102 loss to the Utah Jazz, the seventh straight game Leonard has missed related to knee stiffness. “We talked about it before the season. The biggest thing is he’s progressing well. We are going to follow the lead of our medical staff, we got to be smart about the situation, but he is progressing.”
Leonard initially missed all of the 2021-22 season recovering from July 14, 2021, surgery to repair a torn right ACL suffered during Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs against Utah.
He played in two of the first three games this season, logging 21 minutes in each coming off the bench, but then felt stiffness in his right knee during a workout before the Clippers’ Oct. 25 game at Oklahoma City.
Leonard has not played since Oct. 23 against the Phoenix Suns, when he had 11 points and six rebounds, shooting just 2-of-6 from the field in a 112-95 loss.
“There’s really not a time frame of when he is going to be back,” Lue added. “The biggest thing is just the testing that he has to go through with the medical and the slow progression of just getting better every single day. And so we’re just taking it day by day right now, not really a timetable.”
Questions continue to be raised regarding Leonard’s durability, having now played in only 180 regular-season games since the start of the 2017-18 season.
For comparison, Anthony Davis and Zach LaVine — two players generally considered to have durability concerns — are well above that mark with 277 and 279 games played respectively.
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