The Clippers will most likely not have their best players for most of the 2021-22 season.
Los Angeles announced on Tuesday Kawhi Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partial tear in the ACL of his right knee. The team added that there is currently no timetable for his return to basketball.
Leonard was injured in the fourth game of the Western Conference semifinals. The two-time NBA Finals MVP limped to the rim against Jazz forward Joe Ingles. He eventually participated in the last four minutes of that game, but in an interview with TNT’s Rebecca Haarlow after the game, he said: “I will be fine.”
Unfortunately, for Leonard, the knee problem was more serious than he thought, and it ended a wonderful playoff game. In 11 games in the playoffs, Leonard averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game, shooting 57.3% from the field and 39.3% from the three-point range.
Although it is impossible to know exactly how much time Leonard will be absent, injury expert Jeff Stotts believes that his recovery will last until next year. The 2021-22 election campaign is Expected to start on October 19, So it won’t be shocking to see Leonard stuck on the bench in the first few months of the season.
Re: Kawhi: Earlier this season, Thomas Bryant and Spencer Dinwiddie missed more than 60 games each after undergoing grade 2 (partially torn) ACL injury surgery. About 6 months after the operation, Dinwiddie can participate in basketball activities. Expect Kawhi’s recovery to continue into next year.
— Jeff Stotts (@InStreetClothes) July 14, 2021
This summer, Leonard can become an unrestricted free agent by rejecting the player option. Taking into account his injury history, he may seek a long-term agreement to obtain more financial protection.