The Struggles of Kawhi Leonard: A Tale of Injuries

The LA Clippers faced the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 without their star player, Kawhi Leonard, who was dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee. Leonard, who played 25 minutes in Game 3 but was clearly not himself, had to sit out and wait until he could move the way he needed to. Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank expressed his concern, stating that Leonard’s movements were not typical of the player they know.

With Game 5 on the horizon and only one day of rest before potential Games 6 and 7, Leonard’s return timeline remains uncertain. Frank admitted that Leonard was frustrated and disappointed with the situation. The organization made a tough decision to keep him out until he could demonstrate full mobility. The question on everyone’s mind is when Leonard will be back on the court, but as of now, there is no clear answer.

This is not the first time Kawhi Leonard has faced injury troubles in the playoffs. Last postseason, he suffered a meniscus tear that ended his season after just two games. In 2021, it was a torn ACL against Utah that kept him out for the entire 2021-22 season. Despite undergoing imaging testing that showed his ACL, meniscus, and ligaments were intact, Leonard’s knee issues persist.

The Clippers were encouraged by Leonard’s performance in Game 2 after a three-week absence due to inflammation. He played 35 minutes and scored 15 points, showing signs of progress. However, the following game saw a setback with swelling in his knee. The team tried to manage his minutes in Game 3, but it was clear that Leonard’s movements were severely restricted, leading to the decision to sideline him until he is fully ready.

Frank emphasized the need for patience when it comes to Leonard’s return. The priority is ensuring that Leonard can replicate the movements he made in Game 2 before considering his comeback. Until he can show consistency in his ability to move on the court, the Clippers will continue to hold him out. Leonard’s health and long-term well-being are the top concerns for the organization, and rushing his return is not an option.


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