Kawhi Leonard near getting back from harm for Clippers

Kawhi Leonard is on the verge of a return after the Clippers upgraded the standing of their All-Star wing to questionable to play Thursday towards Detroit.

Leonard has not performed since Oct. 23, lacking all however two of the staff’s first 15 video games en path to an 8-7 report.

After surgical procedure to restore a torn anterior cruciate ligament in July 2021 and lacking all of final season, Leonard shouldered excessive expectations getting into this season, with the Clippers planning to slowly construct up his tolerance for his typical workload of round half-hour per sport. That plan even took on sudden form when Leonard, a starter for nearly the final 9 years, performed off of the bench throughout his first two appearances of the season because the Clippers had been cautious of sitting him for lengthy stretches and wished to bundle the minutes he did play within the second, third and fourth quarters.

That technique was examined shortly when Leonard skilled stiffness in his knee Oct. 25, after a shootaround in Oklahoma Metropolis. He watched from the bench that evening however then returned to Los Angeles the following day to renew rehab on the knee. Orthopedic surgeons with expertise in ACL reconstructions and the restoration course of have described “stiffness” as normally a synonym for swelling, and regarded it sudden for swelling to happen 16 months after a surgical procedure, as occurred in Leonard’s case.

Within the three weeks since Leonard’s absence started, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue has stated that Leonard has been pissed off that his well being has not allowed him to play. Lue additionally repeated that Leonard was making incremental progress. Leonard performed five-on-five basketball for the primary time Nov. 11, although Lue cautioned on the time that although Leonard “looked pretty good,” he nonetheless had a methods to go.

And now, Leonard may solely have just a few extra hours to go earlier than his long-awaited return for a staff that has struggled to search out its consistency and identification in his absence.