Kawhi Leonard is expected to return to the Los Angeles Clippers’ lineup Friday night after missing the last three weeks of play due to right knee soreness.
Senior NBA Insider for ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski, took to Twitter to announce the news of Leonard’s return.
Leonard (right knee) has been out since October 23 and played only two games this season, but now moves to the cusp of a return to the Clippers’ lineup. https://t.co/yl4uwiWRJl
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2022
Leonard has been dealing with right knee issues since he tore his ACL during game four of the 2021 Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz. The injury made Leonard miss the entire 2021-2022 NBA season. The two-time NBA Finals MVP has appeared in just two games this season coming in off the bench before his knee flared up and sidelined him. (RELATED: Surprise, Surprise: The Brooklyn Nets Already Have ‘Frustration’ With Ben Simmons)
After missing a year and a half of action dealing with the injury, it’s hard to imagine that Leonard will return back to his All-Star form right away. He’ll likely show spurts of his old self in his return, but it feels like he’s far out from putting in 40-minute nights and dominating like he used to.
Through 15 games this season, the Clippers are 8-7 and are in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, according to ESPN. Los Angeles could really use the boost Leonard would give their offense. The team’s offense currently ranks last in the league in points per game at 104.9.
The Clippers championship hopes ride on Leonard’s health. From how poorly his knee has responded to minimal game action, it’s unlikely the Clippers having a breakthrough year.