Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports had a significant update on Thursday night regarding the injury rehab of Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard.
During the Clippers’ game against the Phoenix Suns, Haynes reported on TNT that Leonard is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab from a torn ACL, and there’s “a strong possibility” Leonard returns to play for Los Angeles this season.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 7, 2022
Leonard, 30, suffered a torn ACL in the Clippers’ Western Conference Semifinals series against the Utah Jazz last June. , and underwent surgery last July.
The Clippers would gladly take any help they could get from the two-time NBA Finals MVP this season. Los Angeles is 19-20 after Thursday night’s 106-89 loss, placing eighth in the Western Conference.
After the loss, the Los Angeles coaching staff and players were asked about the Leonard report.
Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue told the media, “Nothing I can speak to.”
On a follow-up question that asked about Leonard’s optimism to return this season, Lue responded, “Yeah, there’s optimism. But I still don’t really know. I’d like to have a lot of guys back right now.”
Tyronn Lue responding to report that Kawhi Leonard is ahead of schedule in recovery from offseason knee surgery pic.twitter.com/UDfa2VTRrP
— Law Murray 🎂 (@LawMurrayTheNU) January 7, 2022
Clippers forward Marcus Morris Jr. said that he would “tell Kawhi to take his time” with the rehab.
“When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. We’ll hold it down until he gets here,” Morris said.
Marcus Morris Sr. said he would tell Kawhi to "take his time" with his knee injury recovery. But he smiled behind his mask. "And we all know Kawhi is going to take his time. … When he's ready to play, he'll play. We'll hold it down until he gets here."
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) January 7, 2022
The Clippers are also without star forward Paul George, who’s recovering from a torn ligament in his right elbow. If Los Angeles can hang in the playoff race and can get Leonard and George both back healthy at some point, they will be a very dangerous team.