Kawhi Leonard’s off-season ACL surgery has raised questions about whether he will play at all in the 2021-22 season. However, there may be indications that the Los Angeles Clippers are optimistic on that front.
According to SI’s Farbod Esnaashari, Leonard is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation process following July’s surgery. The Clippers are said to be “very impressed” with his progress and are quietly hoping for a return to training in March or April, but the organization will not rush Leonard back.
The Clippers won’t hesitate to shut down Leonard if red flags appear in rehab. So far, that hasn’t happened, though, fueling optimism about a possible return before the end of the season.
Either way, the team faces a major challenge. Leonard is out for at least most of the year. If he comes back at all, it will be at the end of the season. It would be an achievement to have him back for the playoffs. That’s why the team is taking a conservative public stance for now.