Kawhi Leonard was expected to miss most or all of this season after undergoing surgery in July to repair a partially torn ACL. According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, there’s increasing optimism that Leonard will be in uniform this season.
The Clippers’ superstar is ahead of schedule in his rehab and a return this season is a strong possibility, sources told Haynes. Leonard has ramped up his workload in recent weeks and is gaining strength.
The Clippers entered Thursday as a .500 team (19-19) and it stands to reason Leonard wouldn’t come back unless they remain in the playoff hunt. He’d certainly make them a dangerous lower seed should he be healthy enough to play.
Otherwise, the team might be wise to wait until next year, since its franchise player made a multi-year commitment after undergoing the surgery. Leonard signed a four-year, maximum salary contract worth approximately $176.3MM. He holds a player option on the final year of the deal.