Kawhi Leonard’s offseason ACL surgery has raised questions about whether he’ll play at all in the 2021-22 season. There may be an indication that the Los Angeles Clippers are feeling optimistic on that front, however.
According to Farbod Esnaashari of SI, Leonard is ahead of schedule in his rehab process stemming from July’s surgery. The Clippers are said to be “very impressed” with his progress and are quietly hopeful of a return to practice in March or April, but the organization will not rush Leonard back.
The Clippers will not hesitate to shut Leonard down if any red flags come up in rehab. So far, however, that has not happened, fueling optimism of a possible return before the end of the season.
The team is going to face a significant challenge no matter what. Leonard is, at minimum, out for the bulk of the year. If he comes back at all, it will be at the tail end of the season. Having him back for the playoffs would be an accomplishment. That’s why the team is taking a conservative public stance for now.