After Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 campaign to rehabilitate the reconstructed AFC Champions League, Los Angeles is working to get the 31-year-old back in action by taking him off the bench and placing him under strict minutes restrictions to open the year. According to new developments, Leonard will not be suitable for every game either.
Leonard experienced 21 minutes of excitement on opening night, scoring 14 points from 6 of 12 to help the Clippers win six points over the Lakers. After the match, Leonard gave some indication that there would be scheduled absences throughout his return to form, so don’t get too carried away when he is judged to be inactive in a Clippers match.
What next, Leonard? Here’s what we know about his injury and when he’ll be back on Earth for the Clippers.
More: NBA awards, standings, playoff predictions for the 2022-23 season
What is Kouhi Leonard’s injury?
On June 14, 2021, Leonard was knocked out in Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals with a knee injury that partially ruptured the ACL. Weeks later, Leonard underwent successful surgery to repair the injury.
After sitting out the 2021-22 season, Leonard returned to the floor for the first time in 476 days when he played in the Clippers’ pre-match against the Trail Blazers.
Ahead of Los Angeles’ inaugural meeting with the Lakers, reports emerged that Leonard would be coming off the bench to limit his rotation minutes and manage his recovery from injury.
MORE: How Kawhi Leonard Recovered From A Partial ACL Tear
How long will Kawhi Leonard stay abroad?
Leonard will miss Monday’s game against the Rockets due to “injury management”.
Tonight’s Clippers injury report:
Robert Covington – Health and Safety Protocols
Kawhi Leonard – Right Knee Injury Management
John Wall – Left Knee Injury Management https://t.co/HXmJwiGm6F
– Mark Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 31, 2022
This is his fourth consecutive absence since he played in two of the Clippers’ first three games.
After his impressive start, Leonard told reporters that it will likely be some time before he plays matches on back-to-back nights, but that he will now miss five of the team’s first seven games.
Not playing on back-to-back nights is not a foreign concept for Leonard, who has played in both back-to-back games only seven times out of a potential 26 since being traded with the Raptors in 2018.
Clippers schedule 2022-23
Beginning with encounters against the Kings and the Sun on October 22 and 23, the Clippers have 15 consecutive seasons in the 2022-23 season, seven of which come before the calendar turns to 2023.
With eight back-to-back players appearing after January, Los Angeles could adopt a different approach by the end of the season.
|Date||Discount||time (Eastern time)||TV channel (USA)|
|October 31||vs missiles||10:30 pm||–|
|November 2||in the Rockets||8 pm||–|
|November 4||in spurs||8 pm||–|
|November 6||opposite jazz||10 pm||–|
|November 7||vs Cavaliers||10:30 pm||NBA TV|
|November 9||against the Lakers||10 pm||ESPN|
|November 12||versus networks||4 pm||–|
|November 14||in the Rockets||8 pm||–|
|November 15||in the Mavericks||8:30 pm||–|
Fans in the US can watch the biggest matches of the 2022-23 NBA season on Sling TV. Stream Sling Orange for $35 a month to watch all regular season games on TNT, ESPN, and ABC. For games on NBA TV, sign up for Sling Orange & Sports Extra for $46 a month. Regional local dimming restrictions apply.
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Kawhi Leonard’s career stats, highlights
- 19.2 points per game
- 6.4 rebounds per game
- 2.9 passes per match
- 1.8 steals per game
- 31.3 minutes per game
- 49.3% goal kicks
- 38.4 percent, 3 point ACC