The Los Angeles Clippers are set to face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors at Arena on Wednesday night. The Clippers got superstar forward Kawhi Leonard back this season after he missed the entire 2021-22 season rehabbing his torn right ACL. As the 2022-23 season continues and Leonard is closely monitored, it leads to one to wonder: Is Kawhi Leonard playing tonight vs. the Warriors?

Kawhi Leonard injury status vs. Warriors

So far, the Clippers have a 36-33 record through their 69 games. Kawhi Leonard has played in 41 games for the Clippers this season, dealing with multiple injuries early on as he worked his way back to form. Leonard has played in 24 of the Clippers' last 28 games. The only games he missed were the second nights of back-to-back sets, and the team remains determined to be extremely cautious with their superstar forward. The latest injury report indicates that Kawhi Leonard will play vs. Warriors on Thursday night.

Last season, the Clippers accumulated a 42-40 regular-season record, all without the two-time NBA Finals MVP. This season, the Clippers are hoping to continue their pursuit of an NBA championship with a healthy Kawhi Leonard, and it has been quite the roller coaster. Leonard has looked much more like himself of late, but it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.

Kawhi Leonard first underwent surgery to repair the partial tear of his right anterior cruciate ligament on July 13, 2021. He was ready to go on Opening Night against the Lakers:

However, Leonard only played two games before suffering a setback. On Oct. 25, Leonard was ruled out due to stiffness and swelling in his surgically repaired right knee. He would miss the next 12 games with the stiffness.

Leonard returned on Nov. 17 against the Detroit Pistons. He appeared to be getting into a rhythm until he suffered a sprained ankle late in his third game back against the Utah Jazz. Kawhi Leonard initially claimed he was fine, but ended up missing the next six games for the Clippers.

Leonard returned against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 5. He scored 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including the game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds remaining. The Clippers would finish the road trip 2-2, with Kawhi Leonard playing in three of the four games.

Since Jan. 8, Leonard is averaging 28.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game on 53.2 percent shooting from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 91.1 percent from the free throw line.

Head coach Tyronn Lue says Kawhi Leonard looks all the way back to his old form.

“I think he's back to being Kawhi Leonard,” Lue told ClutchPoints. “And then also playing 37 minutes a game I think since that point as well, so being healthy, being able to get his bounce back, being able to defend at a high level and making his shots. And so, you know, we got him trending in the right direction, want to keep that going in the right direction. And now just like I said, my job is to make sure I put all the pieces around to make sure everything fits and works. 

Paul George said he slowly sees Kawhi Leonard getting more comfortable and looking like his old self.

“I think we’re seeing him more and more get to his spots,” George explained of Leonard. “We’re seeing him get comfortable. We’re seeing him be more aggressive as the games go on. He looked like himself, he looked like himself. He took the shots that the defense gave him, and his playmaking is always special with his ability to get to the paint and use his body. I mean, watching him, it’s him just getting back to, you know, home for him.

“This is his happy place, his home right here. So we’re gonna continue to support him around him, and again it just comes down to everybody now being in their roles and, you know, shining within that.”

On Feb. 24, Leonard put up a season-high 44 points on 16-of-22 shooting in the Clippers' 176-175 loss to the Sacramento Kings, confirming that he's feeling good at this point in the season. LA's star, however, says the team still has a lot of work to do despite winning three games in a row, all with Russell Westbrook as a starter.

We had a slow start, so we got a lot of catching up to do, but we're making the right strides.”

The Clippers are not playing Kawhi Leonard on the second-half of back-to-backs so far this season. Coach Tyronn Lue said Leonard is officially not restricted from a minutes perspective coming out of the All-Star break, but they've maintained a strong stance on him not playing back-to-backs. They only have three back-to-back sets remaining this season, and eight of the final 13 games are at home. Of those 13 games, four will come after at least two days off.

In 41 appearances this season, Kawhi Leonard is averaging 23.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.4 steals on 51.2 percent shooting from the field, 41.9 percent from 3-point range, and 87.4 percent from the free throw line.

As the Clippers prepare for their matchup against the Golden State Warriors, the question is answered: Is Kawhi Leonard playing tonight? Yes, he is.