The Los Angeles Clippers are preparing for their first round playoff series against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks. All eyes, however, are currently on Kawhi Leonard and if he can return in time for the NBA postseason.

Kawhi Leonard has missed seven straight games for the Clippers with right knee inflammation, and with one meaningless regular season game remaining, it's all but likely that he's done for the regular season.

During the team's second to last game against the Utah Jazz on Friday night, Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank joined the Bally Sports broadcast with Brian Sieman and Jim Jackson to speak about a number of topics, including the injury status of Kawhi Leonard.

“With Kawhi, he’s dealing with inflammation,” President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said on the Clippers broadcast. It’s no secret he’s had a couple surgeries to that knee. It’s not uncommon over the course of it where you deal with inflammation. With inflammation, it limits your ability to make some natural basketball moves, so he’s working his tail off, the staff is working their tail off to try to help with the inflammation.”

While the update is appreciated, it's also not really an update. The Clippers haven't had Leonard for seven straight games, a number of those of significance with playoff seeding on the line. They were able to secure massive victories over the Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns all without Leonard, but would they potentially be able to do the same against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks?

One of the Clippers' main priorities heading into the 2023-24 season was to take the regular season more seriously. The 2022-23 season was all over the place and it ended in disappointing fashion as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were both injured.

This time around, Lawrence Frank expressed satisfaction with how the Clippers approached the regular season.

“I think going into the season, both Ty Lue and I talked about taking the regular season more seriously,” Frank added. “And I thought our guys did a very good job of it. Obviously it was an adjustment after a 3-1 start, we make the trade for James, we lose six games, five with him. And then for a nine week stretch we had the best record in the NBA playing at a really really high level. And then I think after that, we hit a lull. Over the next 22-23 games, I think it was most reflected in our defense and our rebounding. And yet what I'm really proud of the guys for is that Ty challenged them, we go on that East coast trip, and essentially win seven of our last eight games. To do that, especially to do that without Kawhi, I think we saw different parts of the season, different guys stepped up.”

While Kawhi Leonard remains out and the team isn't rushing him back to action, there also doesn't appear to be much concern from an organization standpoint regarding his right knee inflammation. The expectation as of now is that Kawhi Leonard should be ready to play by the time Game 1 arrives next weekend, but the team will have to see how he responds to this week of practice and rehab before deciding on his status.

Leonard has been around the team at games, but did not travel for the Sacramento or Phoenix road games. Given that flying can cause inflammation, it makes sense that Leonard stayed back and rehabbed his knee back in Los Angeles.

The Clippers will take on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. While the official schedule is not known, the Clippers will host Game 1 either Saturday, April 20th or Sunday, April 21st.