LOS ANGELES – When the LA Clippers open up training camp on Tuesday, Kawhi Leonard will be ready to participate alongside his teammates.

Following a 14 month layoff due to a torn left ACL, Leonard says he feels great and is ready to get started.

“The plan is tomorrow to start training camp,” Kawhi Leonard said at Clippers Media Day, his first availability since last year’s Media Day. “For me individually, I’ll be participating in training camp. Then from there, just seeing how my progression is, how I feel, what I’m not feeling, is it moving correctly, and just keep going from there, just gradually building up.”

The Clippers remained kept things pretty hush-hush surrounding Kawhi Leonard and his recovery progress. Leonard went down back on June 14, 2021 in Game 4 of the semifinals versus the Utah Jazz. There weren’t many updates on Leonard since then, but the biggest news came last week, when President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said Leonard was cleared for five-on-five basketball.

His first opportunity will come at camp starting Tuesday.

“He is cleared,” Frank said. “For him, he’ll say, ‘I want to do everything.’ Again, we’ll be very cautious in the approach.

“Basically, Kawhi’s done a lot of controlled basketball for a long time. Though 5-on-5 is viewed to the layman as a benchmark, it’s more complicated than that.”

Head coach Tyronn Lue also stayed mum about the plan for Kawhi Leonard.

“I really don’t know,” Lue added. “We’ve got to be smart about the situation, about the process. We know he feels great, which is great news and great to hear. But we’ve got to listen to Kawhi’s body, be able to listen to the medical staff and make sure we’re doing the right thing for Kawhi.

“We’ll know tomorrow. We’ll get a better gauge of how he feels when he goes through different scenarios, different situations on the floor, and then we’ll just kind of gauge it day by day.”

The LA Clippers social media team has been dropping photos and videos of Kawhi Leonard this offseason, and he’s looked noticeably bulkier. The two-time NBA Finals MVP admits he has gotten stronger over the 14-month layoff.

“I feel stronger, yeah. I feel stronger for sure. It’s been, what, 14, 15 months of no basketball — well, playing in an NBA season for me, no basketball. That whole 13, 14-month process is just lifting, lifting weights and getting stronger. I definitely got a lot stronger.”

Does the strength mean we’ll see a different Leonard out there?

“I’m not sure. Right now I feel good in my workouts, weightlifting. I don’t feel like — I would say I have a subconscious mind of not jumping off my leg per se. I feel good. We’ll just see how the season goes.

“And yeah, can’t really tell you how that’s going to work out.”

Over Leonard’s 14 months away from the NBA court, the Clippers earned the eighth seed in the West, but dropped their play-in games to the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans. Their 42-40 season ended earlier than anyone ever expected for a team with a winning record, but it was a learning experience. The roster improved, Players got to develop, and now, Leonard returns to the team better than when he left them.

“It was amazing [to watch them last year], especially with some of those comeback wins or some of those games where people thought they were for sure losses. They came in and fought hard and either strung out the game to be longer than what it was supposed to be or won the game.

“It just shows their competitive nature, their mindset, that they didn’t want to give up. They could have just laid down and burned the season, but without the play-in tournament, we would have made the Playoffs.

“I think that shows who they are as individuals, and I think I could come in and help with that and help us win more games. PG is healthy, we’ve got John, so we’ve got to see how it all unfolds, like I said before.”

The Clippers head to Las Vegas for three days of practices in Sin City. Leonard’s participation during these practices will determine what the team does with preseason games. On Thursday, the Clippers practice for the final time in Vegas before heading to Seattle for a pair of preseason games against Maccabi Ra’anana and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Could Leonard play Friday night? That’s not clear yet, but Tyronn Lue confirmed that every player is healthy and available to go for training camp starting Tuesday night.

Kawhi Leonard’s progress will be closely monitored by both the team, media members, and fans. For now, the Clippers and their fans can remain optimistic on Leonard’s immediate availability.

“Right now, I feel good, and the plan is to start camp tomorrow and play.”