On Wednesday, Clippers fans got some surprising news when it was revealed Kawhi Leonard would be out for Game 5 of Los Angeles’ series against the Jazz.
Leonard, who had played 34 minutes in the previous game for the Clippers, did come up lame after driving to the hoop late in Los Angeles’ win over Utah, but not much was made of the injury. It was just assumed that the Clippers were playing it safe with their star.
Instead, it appears that Leonard’s injury is more serious than initially imagined, and he may not just be out for Game 5 moving forward; he could be out longer-term.
Here are all the details about Leonard’s injury, including the latest updates on when he might be able to return to action during the 2021 NBA playoffs.
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How long will Kawhi Leonard be out?
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Leonard is out indefinitely. The Clippers fear that he may have suffered an ACL injury during their most recent game against the Jazz.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2021
Previously, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had confirmed that Leonard was out for Game 5 of the Clippers-Jazz series and potentially the duration of the series. Windhorst also added that Leonard told his teammates to “prepare for him to be out”.
Leonard told teammates last night to prepare for him to be out.
He landed awkwardly on a drive in the fourth quarter and grimaced in pain Monday night. He briefly stayed in game but didn’t finish as the Clippers secured the win to even series 2-2.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 16, 2021
With Leonard out for the foreseeable future, the Clippers face an uphill climb the rest of the series, which is tied at 2-2. Leonard has averaged 27.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 37 minutes in the first four games. The Clippers are a plus-9 with the All-NBA First-Teamer on the floor vs. the Jazz.
We’ll see how far the Clippers can go, but it certainly seems like they’ll have to try to beat the Jazz, and maybe the rest of the remaining NBA teams, without Leonard.
What is Kawhi Leonard’s injury?
Leonard is dealing with a knee injury that forced him out of Game 4 of the Clippers vs. Jazz playoff series.
According to Shams Charania, the Clippers fear that Leonard has suffered an ACL injury.
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Kawhi Leonard injury timeline
On June 14, Leonard suffered a knee injury after landing awkwardly following a drive to the basket.
Here’s a look at the play where Leonard came up lame.
After the injury, Leonard was seen grimacing and had a slight limp. He exited the game shortly thereafter and didn’t return after playing 34 minutes.
Not much was made of Leonard’s injury, which looked minor at the time, but on June 16, it was confirmed by Windhorst that Leonard would miss Game 5 and possibly more time.
And shortly thereafter, Charania added that the Clippers fear that Leonard has suffered an ACL injury.
Kawhi Leonard injury updates
— June 16: Charania reports that Leonard is “out indefinitely” as a result of his knee injury and that the Clippers fear he is dealing with an ACL problem.
— June 16: Windhorst reports Leonard is out for Game 5 vs. Jazz and is “in doubt” for the rest of the series due to a knee injury.
— June 14: Leonard exits Clippers’ double-digit win over the Jazz early after appearing to tweak knee on a drive to the hoop.