Sport Kawhi Leonard to play for Clippers this season? 'No one knows' – Frank
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The NBA championship-chasing Los Angeles Clippers are unsure when Kawhi Leonard will return from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
Tyronn Lue's Clippers will head into the 2021-22 season without superstar Leonard, who is expected to miss much of the campaign as he recovers from a partially torn ACL in his right knee.
Leonard underwent knee surgery after suffering the serious injury during the 2020-21 playoffs – the Clippers progressed to their first Western Conference Finals before falling to the Phoenix Suns.
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Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank fielded questions on two-time NBA champion Leonard on Friday as the team gear up for the new season.
Morning reps.— LA Clippers (@LAClippers)
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"Oh, we don't even broach that," Frank said when asked if he expects Leonard to play this season.
"I think at this point, it's just no one knows when you're dealing with a recovery from an ACL [injury], the time frame.
"Even just to save you guys [from asking] throughout the year, is no one knows. You just attack it day by day, he has a very detailed plan with a great group and we'll just let his body and the doctors tell us when it's the right time."
A five-time All-Star, Leonard has averaged 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists since joining the Clippers in 2019, arriving at the franchise after an impressive title-winning campaign with the Toronto Raptors.
The Clippers went 36-16 when Leonard was active in the regular season last term, outscoring their opponents by 9.0 points per outing. In the 20 games he missed, however, their record was 11-9 and they were outscored by 1.1 points on average.
In the playoffs, the Clippers have lost in the Conference semi-finals and Conference Finals respectively in the past two seasons.
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