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Kawhi Leonard’s absence goes on as Clippers put no timeframe on return

The Los Angeles Clippers remain without Kawhi Leonard, and with no timeline on his return, some fans are questioning the franchise’s short and long-term strategy.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard watches on from the bench as the Clippers lose to the Utah Jazz.
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

So Kawhi Leonard’s absence from the basketball court continues, as coach Tyronn Lue confirmed there is no timeline for the Los Angeles Clippers star’s return to action.

Leonard has missed seven consecutive games already, having reported stiffness in his knee as he continues his recovery from the ACL injury sustained against the Utah Jazz in the 2021 Western Conference semifinals. With the lack of information surrounding his return, some fans have been fearing history repeating itself.

It comes during a time of great upheaval for a number of teams around the league, which could raise questions about how committed the franchise should be to the future with Leonard. Kevin Durant was of course angling for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets in the summer and, with everything going on within that organization, some may believe it’s worth at least testing the water with an offer to swap stars. Culturally, though, that could cause more damage than it is worth.

The Clippers’ star won’t have helped these doubts, though, of course. The team is currently sitting at .500, having lost to the rebuilding Utah Jazz on Sunday to snap a three-game win streak. They also look set to face a tough challenge against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night with Leonard still out, Luke Kennard joining him on the injury list, John Wall sitting out the second game of a back-to-back, and Lue admitting he may have overplayed Paul George and Marcus Morris in the loss.

Wall’s absence is a further show of how careful the franchise have been around their long-standing injuries, as Coach Lue also said of Leonard:

“We knew coming off an ACL it wasn’t gonna be a straight line, we talked about it before the season… We’re just gonna follow the lead of our medical staff, so we gotta be smart about the situation.”

The Clippers do have to be cautious around health, obviously. The last thing they’d want is to try and push their guys too hard and end up costing themselves later down the line. This squad is in it for the long haul, and it’s still very early days. Besides, they’ve got the Western Conference player of the week leading them, so the rest will fall into place from there.