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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Is Kawhi Leonard’s knee injury worse than Clippers are saying?

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

A few short weeks ago, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard expressed an optimism regarding his recovery from a partially torn ACL. He shared his philosophy on limited minutes and how that might lead to a strengthened knee over time.

But that optimism has faded. Rapidly.

Leonard did not join the Clippers on a two-game road trip this week and has not played since October 23. And while head coach Tyronn Lue did say Leonard is “getting better,” there is some growing frustration. That frustration may continue to grow for Leonard and the Clippers.

After fear mounted that Leonard was dealing with tendinitis, FOX Sports insider Chris Broussard now suggests the injury might be much worse.

“I’ve talked to some people around the league about this. A week ago, (the Clippers) feared Kawhi had tendinitis. Now, there’s a fear that it’s worse,” Broussard said on First Things First. “Now, I don’t know what that means. Does that mean he re-injured it — I don’t want to say re-injured it. But is it just not fully healed?

“I don’t know if it’s physical, as in there’s still a problem with the knee, or if it’s mental in that Kawhi has, for the most part throughout his career, not wanted to play unless he’s 110 percent.”

For now, there’s no concrete timetable for Leonard’s return to the court. There’s also no transparency when it comes to his injured knee. What is certain is that the Clippers are a much weaker team without his presence, and they desperately need Leonard back sooner rather than later.

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