LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers are hitting the road for a post-Thanksgiving back-to-back set against the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, they’ll be doing so without the services of both Paul George and Luke Kennard, as well as potentially Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers announced Sunday that both George and Kennard will not be traveling on the Clippers’ upcoming two-game trip. The decision means the two guards will be rehabbing their respective injuries in Los Angeles before the team comes home.
A decision on Leonard’s status will be determined prior to the team’s departure to Portland on Monday afternoon.
Paul George and Luke Kennard will not be traveling on the Clippers upcoming 2 game trip.
Kawhi Leonard’s status is yet to be determined for the trip.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 27, 2022
Paul George is currently dealing with a right hamstring tendon strain. George will miss at least six games with the injury, and his status after the road trip has yet to be determined. The Clippers star was seen putting up shots and going through some light pregame drills ahead of Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
Luke Kennard has missed the last six games for the Clippers with a calf strain, and he will miss at least another two on this upcoming trip for a total of eight. Kennard was also seen taking shots before Clippers-Pacers, a significant step toward a return to action.
In speaking with ClutchPoints on Sunday, Kennard says he’s feeling much better, but still has a ways to go in his recovery
Kawhi Leonard returned from a 12-game absence due to knee stiffness on Nov 17. He played three consecutive games before spraining his ankle trying to block a shot late against the Utah Jazz. He has been out since, but has been actively working out and doesn’t seem to be dealing with anything serious.
On a number of occasions, head coach Tyronn Lue declined to classify their injuries as “long term.” Instead, Lue has referred to the healthy and available guys as “holding down the fort” until Leonard, George, and Kennard can return.
“It’s part of the game,” Tyronn Lue said of the injuries. “We’re not the only team who’s going through it. It is what it is, and so, the guys getting better, they’re progressing pretty well and that’s all we can worry about. We gotta worry about tonight and the guys we got on the floor and trying to get a win. Our guys are scrapping, they’re playing hard, they’re trying to hold the fort down and it’s tough right now, but it is what it is, because we’re not the only team going through it and it’s just part of the league right now. So we gotta focus on ourselves.”
The Clippers play six of their next seven games on the road, with their lone home game this Saturday against the Sacramento Kings. The team will likely provide more concrete updates by their big guns when they return home. The good news is LA came up with a big 114-100 win over the Pacers on Sunday, bolstered by a historic day from Ivica Zubac.