NBA

Kawhi ruled out of Clippers' next two games due to knee stiffness

By Sports Desk October 25, 2022

Kawhi Leonard is experiencing stiffness in his surgically repaired right knee and has subsequently been ruled out of the Los Angeles Clippers' next two games.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed all of last season after tearing his ACL during the 2021 playoffs and has played 21 minutes off the bench in two of the Clippers' three opening games this season.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue revealed ahead of Tuesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that Leonard had not suffered a setback but would sit out of their next two games, including Thursday's second game at OKC.

"After shootaround, [he] experienced some stiffness in his knee," Lue told reporters. "We want to be cautious, make sure we're doing the right thing by him, even though he wanted to play.

"We just thought it wasn't smart. He can be mad at us if he wants to but just not smart right now."

The Clippers are opting for a cautious approach with Leonard, who will fly back to Los Angeles on Wednesday to undergo treatment, with the team to monitor him before making a call on his availability for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

"That [soreness] is part of the process when you have ACL surgery," Lue said. "It's known to happen to get a little stiffness so we just got to be smart about it."

The 31-year-old has averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.0 assists in his two games this season, shooting at 44.4 per cent from the field.

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