The Clippers won the final two games of their playoff series against the Jazz despite being without Kawhi Leonard (knee). They advanced to the Western Conference finals and will take on the Suns beginning June 20.
NBA fans have a pressing question ahead of that series: When will Leonard be able to play again?
Leonard was ruled out indefinitely after suffering the injury, but Los Angeles has not declared him out for the rest of the postseason — or put a timetable on his return, for that matter.
Here are the latest updates on Leonard ahead of Game 1 of the Clippers-Suns series.
Will Kawhi Leonard play vs. Suns?
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported June 19 that Leonard is not traveling with the Clippers to Phoenix for the start of the series. That renders him unavailable for Game 1 and brings his Game 2 status into question as well.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 19, 2021
However, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue wouldn’t yet rule Leonard out of Game 2, but indicated that the team must “prepare like he’s not playing” moving forward.
“I’m not sure,” Lue said of Leonard’s future availability, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I know [he is out for] Game 1 for sure. Right now he’s back home getting treatment. We’re not sure about Game 2 yet.”
Leonard was injured in Game 4 of the Clippers-Jazz series on a drive to the basket. The injury wasn’t considered serious at first, but the Clippers now fear he may have suffered an ACL injury, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The team hasn’t ruled out Leonard returning. It has listed his injury on its official injury reports as a right knee sprain.
Leonard is averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals through 11 postseason games. The Clippers are 2-0 without him thanks to stellar performances by Paul George and Terance Mann.
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