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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Kawhi Leonard has taken major step in his recovery?

Kawhi Leonard in a warmup shirt

The LA Clippers will be fighting for an official playoff spot during this week’s play-in tournament. If they successfully clinch one, they may have a Kawhi Leonard-sized reinforcement waiting for them on the other side.

In an episode this week of his self-titled podcast, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons said that he has heard Leonard has progressed to three-on-three workouts in his recovery from injury. Simmons did add though that he has not yet heard that the former Finals MVP has done five-on-five workouts.

You can listen to the clip from Simmons here.

One can debate the merits of Simmons as a source on this one. But Simmons has been a Clippers’ season-ticket holder since at least the early “Lob City” days, so he is very often around the team.

For Leonard, who is now ten months removed from his partial ACL tear and nine months removed from surgery, to have progressed to playing three-on-three would be a major development. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue just said a few days ago that Leonard had yet to advance past individual workouts, so ramping up to three-on-three in such short order is a pretty big deal.

The smart bet should probably still be on Leonard not returning this season, especially since the 30-year-old star has historically been cautious with his health. But he recently had an intensive workout on film and appears to be staying ready for any possibility.

Photo: 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

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