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Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
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Kawhi Leonard, knee inflammation, uncertain for Game 1

Published April 19, 2024 at 10:45
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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LA Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard is still grappling with inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee, raising uncertainty about his availability for Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite undergoing treatment and missing the final eight games of the regular season, Leonard's status remains questionable. Reports from The Athletic suggest that Leonard received a knee injection in early April, but the Clippers have refrained from divulging specific details about his treatment regimen.

According to Lawrence Frank, the president of basketball operations for the LA Clippers, Leonard has yet to engage in contact drills as of Thursday's practice session. While Frank emphasized that Leonard's knee structure remains solid and intact following surgeries to repair a torn ACL and meniscus, he acknowledged that the persistent inflammation poses a significant challenge. Leonard's knee ailment has proven to be particularly stubborn, hindering his progress despite ongoing efforts to manage it effectively.

"He's doing everything," Frank said of Leonard treating his knee. "Our medical staff is doing everything to get the inflammation down so he can play. Progress has been made, but more progress needs -- the inflammation needs to continue to reduce so he can do functional basketball movements. '' Frank added, "There is no gamesmanship here and we're very sensitive of the fact that questions are going to be asked and want to be as transparent as possible. It's OK to say what the truth is. It's unpredictable. We're hoping it's trending in the right direction. It's a very accurate statement. When it gets to a point where he's able to play, then that's when he'll be back on the court."

In July 2021, Leonard underwent surgery to mend a torn ACL sustained in his right knee during a second-round series against Utah. Subsequently, in June, he underwent a cleanup procedure to address a torn meniscus from last season's first round against Phoenix. Leonard's condition stands as a critical consideration for the Mavericks, given his impressive playoff performance history against Dallas. Throughout his tenure with the Clippers, he boasted averages of 32.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 13 playoff matchups against them. Known for his ability to dominate both ends of the court in crucial moments, Leonard remains a formidable force.


Source Sports Illustrated : Clippers' Kawhi Leonard Faces Uncertain Injury Status for Game 1 vs. Mavs
Source ESPN : Kawhi Leonard still battling inflammation, remains questionable
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