Kawhi Unlikely To Play Until 2022 NBA Playoffs Due To ACL Injury

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Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers of the LA Clippers dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 15, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Kawhi Leonard could have made a difference for the Los Angeles Clippers when they made their first Western Conference Finals appearance.

All that was scorned after the two-time NBA champion suffered an ACL injury in the Western Conference semi-finals against the Utah Jazz.

It was progress for the Clippers after years of trying. Most felt that the team could have been in the NBA Finals, had the 30-year-old been healthy.

Los Angeles could always try again next season although that intent suffered a major blow.

Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partial tear on his right ACL, and there is no timetable on when the five-time All-Star can return per an official press release from the Clippers.

Ideally, a player would need between six to nine months or even a year before he can return to action.

Hence, there is the looming possibility that Leonard may miss most of the 2021-22 NBA wars according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes.

Aside from that, there is the angle where Leonard has been cautious when it comes from returning to injury.

Adding all those together, the earliest that NBA fans could see Leonard maybe by the playoffs next April.

Furthermore, this development also raises questions about the future of Leonard. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Before getting injured, there were teams interested in taking him in.

The Dallas Mavericks were rumored to be one of them although that was before the injury angle came in.

League sources tell NBC Sports that despite the interest, the Clippers are expected to re-sign Leonard.


Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers

Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

However, the new deal for Leonard will be interesting. The money and length of the contract will be monitored with most wanting to know if the recent injury will in any way affect it.

Leonard may want to secure a longer deal this time around given that injuries are starting to show.

Only 30, most expect him to bounce back once he is ready to play. But the chances of seeing him retain his old form are a suspect, yet another reason why the Clippers and other teams want a better picture of the severity of the two-time NBA Finals MVP’s true state of health.

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