Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will not travel with the Los Angeles Clippers on their upcoming road trip, according to coach Ty Lue. This means that, as a minimum, his absence will extend to six games. Leonard has played just twice this season, scoring 25 points in 41 minutes off the bench.
Leonard is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the 2021 playoffs. That injury kept him out for the entire 2021-22 season, and now that same right knee continues to bother him as this season begins. In addition to that knee, Leonard has been dealing with a quad condition for years. The Clippers have been extremely conservative in managing their workload as a result, but it has cost them this season.
The Clippers, picked by many to win the NBA championship before the season, started 2-4. The Clippers have built a deep roster, but with so many talented players, switching roles depending on who is healthy and who isn’t could create some tension as the season progresses.
Ultimately, the goal for the Clippers will be a healthy roster in April, May and June. Those are the games that count. Leonard’s struggles now don’t guarantee trouble in the spring. But Leonard only stayed for one full season. For him to be dealing with knee issues after such a long recovery is obviously concerning, and if the Clippers can’t figure things out around him, they may not be able to last many more games without him.