Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Returns After 12-Game Hiatus

Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard finally made his return after missing 12 games.

kawhi leonard
Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard Returns After 12 Games of Absence

Los Angeles Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard has made his return to the NBA court after a 12-game hiatus. Leonard was in rehab for almost a month, as he’s still in the process of recovering from the ACL injury that forced him to sit out the entirety of the 2021-22 NBA season. The two-time Finals MVP logged limited time in his return — only 25 minutes as a starter — but there’s no doubt that his presence will surely boost the morale of the whole team. The Clippers went on to carve a 96-91 win over the Detroit Pistons, with Leonard finishing with six points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Prior to this win against the Pistons, Leonard only played in two games to start the new season. He missed the next twelve games, as he had to manage the bothering issues on his right knee — the same knee that sustained the ACL injury a year ago. In an interview after the Pistons game, Leonard said that he expected that he would go through a “long journey”, believing that a full recovery from an ACL injury will take two years instead of only one year.

Through three games this season, Kawhi Leonard is averaging 22.3 minutes and tallying 10.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest. Of course, there are not his usual numbers and it’s understandable that the All-Star forward is still pacing himself at this stage of the season. The important thing is that Leonard remains healthy all year long, and then unleash his full abilities come playoff time. There’s no doubt that he is still an elite two-way talent in the league, and the Clippers will need him healthy if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

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