LA Clippers vs Utah Jazz: Kawhi Leonard Injury and Timeline for Return

Published 06/17/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Jun 14, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots against the Utah Jazz during the first half in game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


For the second time this postseason, the Los Angeles Clippers crawled back out of a 2-0 ditch and took the lead in Game 5. Their victory in the latest game came despite the absence of their star player Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers have only come so far thanks to the two-time NBA Finals MVP. Without Kawhi, their lead could just as easily be taken away. But where is he?

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Kawhi Leonard: Injury Report

During Game 4 against the Utah Jazz, there were five minutes left before the fourth quarter ended. This was when Joe Ingles and Kawhi Leonard bumped into each other hard and Leonard was seen grabbing his right leg instantly. This made Kawhi Leonard leave the court, and he missed the rest of the game.

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Initially deemed as a minor injury, the Clippers didn’t seem to have much to worry about. And then the injury report came and Leonard was ruled out indefinitely and was obviously missing Game 5 as well. A knee sprain has been cited as the reason for his absence and there is no definite timeline for his return.

As per Jeff Stotts, an ACL sprain almost always needs surgery which could be dreadful news for the Clippers. They could lose Kawhi for the rest of the season. Jeff also said that the next course of action is to determine the severity of the sprain and what the treatment for it will be. Only if it’s a low-grade sprain can there be a possibility of no surgery.

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Is the league responsible for the injury plague?

Kawhi is another victim of the domino effect of injuries we’ve been witness to this season. And now, LeBron James is not keeping quiet and pointing fingers at the league for this. The season began way too soon, and the players didn’t get enough time to recuperate.

Bron was one player to voice his opinion about rushing the season last year. Therefore, he has picked up this opportunity to throw an ‘I told you so’ to the league. He ranted about how fans don’t deserve to have their favorite players missing only because the NBA didn’t take his warning seriously.

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Although the Clippers came out victorious without him, owing to Paul George‘s brilliant 37-point performance, Kawhi’s participation is integral for the franchise moving forward, both in this series and maybe even to the Conference finals. Will PG and Co. be able to finish the series in Game 6 without Kawhi if it comes to it?

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Fire Under Us’: Clippers’ Paul George Reveals What Helped Them Bounce Back Against the Jazz

about 1 month ago

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Yashima Bhatia

1317 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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