Kawhi Leonard’s Status In Question For Game 1 Vs. Mavs

Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard is still batting inflammation in his right knee and he’ll be listed as questionable for Los Angeles’s first game in the playoffs against the Mavericks on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Previously, coach Tyronn Lue had said he was preparing as if Leonard would be ready to play.

President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said Leonard hadn’t gone through contact prior to Thursday’s practice but that his knee is “solid and intact” despite “very stubborn” inflammation.

He’s doing everything,” Frank said of Leonard. “Our medical staff is doing everything to get the inflammation down so he can play. Progress has been made, but more progress needs — the inflammation needs to continue to reduce so he can do functional basketball movements.

Leonard hasn’t appeared in a game since March 31 while dealing with the injury after averaging 23.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest this season. According to Shams Charania and Mark Puleo of The Athletic, the star forward received an injection in the affected knee in early April. It’s not specified whether or not that was a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection.

There is no gamesmanship here and we’re very sensitive of the fact that questions are going to be asked and want to be as transparent as possible,” Frank said. “It’s OK to say what the truth is. It’s unpredictable. We’re hoping it’s trending in the right direction. It’s a very accurate statement. When it gets to a point where he’s able to play, then that’s when he’ll be back on the court.

According to Frank, Leonard has gone through film study to personnel but hasn’t gone through many contact portions leading up to Thursday. Frank also didn’t go into specifics when asked about the reported injection.

We would never put Kawhi or anyone on the court if there’s grave risk or there’s risk for future injury,” Frank said. “We’re hopeful that this inflammation will get reduced and he’ll be back on the court as quickly as possible. But you can’t predict something that’s unpredictable.

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