May 22, 2024

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Kawhi Leonard is still suffering from inflammation, and remains questionable

Kawhi Leonard is still suffering from inflammation, and remains questionable

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is still dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee, and his status is questionable for Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks.

Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers, said Leonard had not yet made any contact before Thursday's practice. Leonard's right knee, which underwent surgeries to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, is structurally “solid and sound” but the Clippers' franchise star has “some pretty stubborn inflammation,” Frank said.

“He does everything,” Frank said of Leonard treating his knee. “Our medical staff is doing everything we can to get the inflammation down so he can play. Progress has been made, but more progress is needed – the inflammation must continue to go down so he can make functional basketball movements.”

Frank added: “There is no manipulation here and we are very sensitive to the fact that questions will be asked and we want to be as transparent as possible. It is okay to say what the truth is. It is unpredictable. We hope that it is going in the right direction, it is an accurate statement.” Very much when he reaches a point where he can play, then he will return to the field.

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Frank said we still have a few days before Sunday's first game to get Leonard ready for the start of the postseason. But Leonard has not played a game since March 31 and has missed the final eight games of the regular season.

“So in terms of where we're going, is it possible for him to play?” Frank said Thursday. “Sure, it's possible. It's Thursday. And with each day we'll know more and more.”

Asked if Leonard had received an injection to help treat the inflammation, Frank said he would not go into any detail about any specific treatments.

Frank said Leonard went through all the mental parts of training from film study to personnel but was kept out of the contact portions.

“Obviously if he's not healthy to play at a certain moment he won't be there,” Frank said. “Ever since Kawhi's career, when Kawhi's been healthy, he's been playing. And some things you can't control, no matter how careful he is with his body and everything that goes into playing. You can only control what you can control and you kind of have to To give up on the things you can't afford

“We would never put Kawhi or anyone on the field if there was a high risk or risk of injury in the future. Hopefully this inflammation will subside and he will be back on the field as quickly as possible. But you can.” Don't predict anything that is unpredictable.”

Leonard underwent surgery in July 2021 to repair the torn ACL he suffered in his right knee during the second-round series against Utah. Then in June, Leonard underwent a cleanup to repair the torn meniscus he suffered in the same knee during last season's first round loss against Phoenix.

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