Kawhi Leonard Status: When Will Clippers SF Be Back, Return From Injury?

Written By Matt Burke on November 21, 2021

One of the biggest stars in the NBA is set to miss a considerable amount of time this season due to injury. Los Angeles Clippers swingman Kawhi Leonard tore his ACL in the 2021 postseason and we won’t be seeing him back on the floor until 2022. As for when in 2022 we will see the two-time Finals MVP, we will update you with all the latest info on a timetable below. Read on to find out when will Kawhi Leonard be back and return to the Clippers.

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When will Kawhi Leonard be back and return to Clippers?

NBA fans and bettors are all wondering when will Kawhi Leonard be back and return to the basketball court. Kawhi dropped some clues regarding his potential return at Clippers media day as he more or less said he signed a longterm deal with LA this past summer in order to try and make a comeback this season. It makes sense considering that he now has longterm money in the bank.

“I wanted to secure some money and I wanted to be able to come back if I was able to this year,” Leonard said. “If I would have took the one and one, I probably would have not played just to be cautious and opted out and took a five-year (deal).”

While the Clippers would love to have him back soon and while Leonard says that he intends to play this season, the LA brass will obviously use an abundance of caution with their franchise player. Kawhi is also one of the godfathers of “load management,” so expect him to take his time.

“We don’t want to force him or put any pressure on him (regarding a return timeline),” said Clippers head coach Ty Lue. “We want to make sure he’s rehabbing and doing everything he can to get back as soon as possible. And if that’s next season, that’s next season.”

Kawhi Leonard injury timetable

There is a broad recovery timetable for an ACL injury as it ranges from 6-9 months according to Medicinenet.com. Kawhi had surgery on July 13, so here is an idea of when he could potentially return.

  • 6 months: January 2022
  • 7 months: February 2022
  • 8 months: March 2022
  • 9 months: April 2022
  • 10 months: May 2022

The NBA is back to a normal schedule now after two seasons that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The playoffs will start in mid-April. Assuming the Clippers make the playoffs without their best player, Leonard should be healed and ready to play for LA by that time – even on a conservative timeline. Here are some key dates.

  • April 12: Start of NBA Play-In tournament
  • April 16: Start of NBA playoffs
  • June 2: Game 1 of 2022 NBA Finals

Clippers futures

Sportsbooks are not dismissing the Clippers to win the NBA title as LA actually has the sixth lowest odds at most books. The Clips have shorter odds than the likes of last year’s Western Conference winner, the Phoenix Suns ().

Here are the best Clippers prices for the 2021-22 pro basketball season.

MVP odds

Kawhi is surprisingly on the DraftKings Sportsbook board for NBA MVP as he owns +10000 odds. Clippers teammate Paul George, who will undoubtedly be relied on more as a scorer with Leonard on the shelf, has +3000 MVP odds. That number puts him on par with the likes of Celtics star Jayson Tatum and Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

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Matt Burke Avatar
Written by
Matt Burke

Matt Burke is the Sports Editor and Head of Evergreen/SEO Content at TheLines.com. He is the Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of MetroBet, a digital and print sports betting platform, and was the Executive Sports Editor at Metro US Newspapers (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) from 2014-2020. Matt has covered Super Bowls and Final Fours, and his work has appeared for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, the Eagle Tribune, Gloucester Daily Times and Newburyport Daily News. Matt is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

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