Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard out vs. Grizzlies with knee injury management
Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss Wednesday’s tilt against the Memphis Grizzlies at the back end of a back-to-back due to knee injury management, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.
Paul George, who recently returned from surgery on both of his shoulders, isn’t listed on the injury report and is a go.
This has become rather habitual for the Clippers, who have yet to play Leonard in a back-to-back game. The Klaw has not played both ends of a back-to-back since April 2017 as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.
Leonard has been deemed not healthy enough to take the court under back-to-back circumstances, which sparked debate (and even a fine for the team) for contradicting the league’s ruling on his status. While it’s a technicality, Leonard is deemed an injured player who needs injury management, not “load management,” which served as a subsequent memo for all other 29 teams in the league.
The 28-year-old will now miss his sixth game of the first 20 this season, as the Clippers have employed the same injury management strategy as the Toronto Raptors did during a title-winning 2018-19 season.
Leonard is averaging 25.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.0 steals to start this season, though it’s likely his presence will continue to be scattered throughout the season on nights like this.