Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard had surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced on Tuesday night. There is no timetable yet for his return.
The two-time Finals MVP missed the final eight playoff games of the Clippers’ season with the injury. Leonard left in the fourth quarter of Game 4 against the Utah Jazz in Round 2 after landing awkwardly on his right leg on a drive to the hoop. He was ruled out of that for the remainder of that game and would not return for the rest of the postseason.
The Clippers were able to beat the top-seeded Jazz without him for the final two games of the series, but fell to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals.
In his second season with L.A., Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and a career-high 5.2 assists per game. He shot 51.2% from the field, the second-highest mark in his career, as well as 39.8% from beyond the arc.
There is a possibility Leonard may have played his final game as a member of the Clippers. He has a player option of $36 million this summer, but Leonard, if he declines, would hit free agency where he is eligible for a max contract that would start at $39 million. However, the general consensus is Leonard will re-sign and stay in Los Angeles.
Whether he’s back with the Clippers or not, it’s unclear if Leonard will be ready for the planned mid-October start of next season.