Kawhi Leonard left Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals with 4:35 to play and the Clippers on a high note after evening the series at two apiece.
The Clippers won the series, but Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played since. He missed the remainder of the postseason; one month later, the Clippers announced that Leonard had suffered a partially torn ACL and had surgery to repair the injury. To date, there has been no timeline for Leonard’s return, with president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank going so far as to say that the team doesn’t even “breach” the idea of a return date.
Leonard did choose to re-sign with the Clippers on a long-term deal, and noted that he was motivated to do so in part because he wanted to try to play again this season. Still, there has been no update as to whether Leonard is likely to do so, and despite a recent string of wins, the team’s championship aspirations remain in a holding pattern as long as the fate of their superstar player is up in the air.
Since the season started, Leonard has been seen at practices shooting around and acting as a pseudo-assistant coach, especially with the younger players. On Nov. 9, Allie LaForce reported on TNT that Ty Lue was encouraged Leonard had progressed to “explosive box jumping” in recent days. LaForce also said the Clippers are “really hopeful” that Leonard will return before the end of the season.
Missed this since we weren't privy to the TNT feed last night, but Kawhi Leonard has been doing “some explosive box jumping just a couple of days ago” and, as far as Marcus Morris Sr. is concerned, “he’ll be back, hopefully, in the next week or two.” pic.twitter.com/NHUBUDkPwr— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) November 10, 2021
We’ll continue to keep track of Leonard’s progress throughout the season. Stay tuned to this story stream for any updates on his availability and potential return.