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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Clippers have disappointing update on Kawhi Leonard’s status

Kawhi Leonard in a warmup shirt

Jun 8, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) warms up prior to game one in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It is a new season but the same old story for Kawhi Leonard.

LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters before Monday’s home game against the Houston Rockets that the star forward Leonard will not join the team on their upcoming two-game trip to Houston and San Antonio. Lue added that Leonard is frustrated but “getting better,” according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

Leonard has played in just two games thus far this season, averaging 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per contest. But he reportedly felt stiffness in his surgically-repaired knee after an Oct. 23 game against the Phoenix Suns and has not played since. Leonard has already missed five games for the Clippers and will now sit out for at least two more.

The former Finals MVP Leonard suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee back in June 2021 and has also been managing a degenerative quadriceps condition in the same leg for the last several seasons. The good news for the Clippers is that it is still only October and that they have the depth (at least on paper) to survive some regular season time without Leonard. But the bad news is that the Clippers are only 2-4 right now and really need Leonard out on the floor to build chemistry with the rest of their nucleus after he already missed all of last season. Leonard’s health is not the only issue the Clippers are facing in the early going either.

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