Los Angeles Clippers expect to not have Kawhi Leonard available for most of the 2021-22 season, but the latest information suggests that the superstar forward may be ahead of schedule in his recovery.
Leonard is recovering from a partially torn ACL suffered during the second round of the 2020-21 NBA playoffs. Leonard himself recently said he’s hoping to return this season.
“Kawhi Leonard may be out for an extended period of time this season, but he hasn’t been completely ruled out. Multiple sources have revealed that as of right now, Kawhi Leonard is ahead of schedule with his ACL tear rehab,” Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated reports.
Even though Leonard’s recovery seems to be going well, the Clippers are not expected to rush their superstar’s return. Leonard underwent surgery on July 13.
Usually, athletes need 8-9 months to fully recover from that type of injury. In any case, the most ideal scenario could be Leonard returning to practice around April or May, per Esnaashari.
“League sources have indicated a hopeful return around that time frame, but it’s simply too far ahead to say right now. Those on the team are very impressed with the progress Kawhi Leonard is making, but they fully understand how far away any type of return is from now.”
Despite the current report, the LA Clippers did not offer a clear timetable for Leonard. Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the Clips last year.
The Clippers reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in the history of the franchise last season. This year, Paul George will need to carry the Clippers, until Leonard’s return.