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Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard undergoes surgery on partially torn ACL

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers, Jazz

LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard underwent successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a partially torn ACL, the team announced. This all but confirms a grade 2 sprain of Leonard’s ACL, which was suffered in Game 4 against the Utah Jazz.

ClutchPoints first reported the news of Kawhi Leonard’s sprained ACL during the Clippers-Jazz series in mid-June.

Leonard’s injury came with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ Game 4 win over the Jazz. Leonard came up hobbling after a transition opportunity was stopped by an intentional foul by Joe Ingles.

Here’s the play where Leonard suffered the injury:

Leonard initially stayed in the game, but sat out the final four minutes of the game. When asked about it following the contest, Kawhi was quick and to the point.

“I’m good,” Leonard quickly responded. “Next question.”

Clearly, he was not good.

The Clippers say Leonard has no timetable to return from his injury, and his return will all depend on how his knee responds to rehab over the next few months. With opening night just over three months away, Leonard will likely miss the start of 2021-22 season.

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a partially torn ACL three games into the season and did not return. Granted, the season was shortened and there were murmurs about a potential return sometime during the playoffs, but that never happened.

Leonard, 30, has a player option to decide on exercising by early August. Regardless of whether he opts in or out, Kawhi Leonard is widely expected to return to the Clippers in free agency.

In 52 appearances this season, Kawhi Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 51.2 percent shooting from the field and 39.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.