The Los Angeles Clippers came into this season as one of the favorites to win an NBA title.
Most of that optimism was based on the idea that, after a full season off the court, Kawhi Leonard would finally return to his team healthy.
During the summer, everyone suggested that his recovery from a partially torn ACL was progressing extremely well.
This week NBA insider Chris Broussard appeared on Fox Sports and revealed that may not in fact be the case.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 2, 2022
“I’ve talked to some people around the league about this. A week ago, (the Clippers) feared Kawhi had tendinitis. Now, there’s a fear that it’s worse,” Broussard said
“Now, I don’t know what that means. Does that mean he re-injured it — I don’t want to say re-injured it. But is it just not fully healed?
“I don’t know if it’s physical, as in there’s still a problem with the knee, or if it’s mental in that Kawhi has, for the most part throughout his career, not wanted to play unless he’s 110 percent.”
So far this season Leonard has played in just two games and is averaging a mere 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He has not played since Oct. 23.
At this point, it seems safe to say that there is something weird going on with Leonard and his health. There were a lot of rumors last year about Leonard and the Clippers’ medical staff having beef.
It’s hard not feel like that may be the case again.
Before Leonard deemed himself unavailable to play, L.A. was loudly signaling that he was good to go.
So what changed?
So far in 2022-23 Leonard has made far more headlines for his encounter with a female fan courtside than anything actually basketball-related.
LSU star Olivia Dunne takes aim at Alabama in her new video. https://t.co/F0N4dJh57a
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 5, 2022
Based on his health prognosis at the moment, it feels like that isn’t going to change any time soon.
Will the Clippers ever get a moderately healthy and effective version of Leonard back on the court again?
Time will tell.