Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has reportedly suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Leonard was on the court for the first two games of the Clippers first-round playoffs series against the Phoenix Suns, but a knee injury sidelined him for the final three games.
The No. 4-seeded Suns eliminated the No. 5-seeded Clippers from the playoffs in five games. Devin Booker’s 47 points led Phoenix in scoring in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
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With the effort, Booker broke Hall of Famer Charles Barkley’s franchise record for most 40-point games in Suns’ playoff history.
Before the start of Game 5, Leonard was ruled out due to a sprained right knee.
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It is unclear when exactly Leonard suffered the knee injury during Game 1 vs. the Suns, but he appeared to play through whatever pain he was experiencing in Game 2.
At some point afterward, his condition worsened, which forced him to watch the remainder of the playoff series from the bench.
The Athletic first reported Leonard’s injury.
Leonard’s teammate, Paul George, also has been sidelined with a knee injury since March 21
The two-time NBA champion missed the entire 2021-22 season while recovering from a torn right ACL.
Leonard later underwent a procedure to have the knee surgically repaired.
George previously defended Leonard, and said that those who thought the two-time NBA Finals MVP was just sitting out were “attacking his character.”
Leonard’s latest setback will certainly create more questions about his readiness to play once next season begins. The best the Clippers can hope for is that he will be cleared to resume basketball activities in around two months, but that timetable is uncertain.
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The five-time All-Star averaged 34.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes per game in the first two postseason contests vs. Phoenix.