The Los Angeles Clippers announced Kawhi Leonard had surgery on a partially torn ACL in his right knee on Tuesday, confirming what many had already suspected.
This is the same injury that Leonard fought through most of the 2021 postseason and eventually led him to miss the Clippers’ last six playoff games.
No timetable for his return has been set.
The Clippers beat the Utah Jazz in Games 5 and 6 in the second round and took the eventual Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns to six games before losing.
Leonard was present at Staples Center when the Clippers played the Suns, but the two-time NBA champ did not suit up.
The Clippers called the injury a sprain after Leonard appeared to hurt his knee in Game 4 of the Jazz series.
As his playing status remained undetermined, questions about the severity of the injury were asked.
After he was ruled out of the conference finals, many had already believed he tore his ACL.
For Kawhi Leonard, this is the same leg he injured his quadriceps that lingered on since 2017 when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs.
He played all but nine games that season with the injury.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, Leonard and the Spurs’ medical staff had a falling out over the treatment of the injury, which led to his trade request.
Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors in the 2018 offseason and led the Raptors to their first title in franchise history.
Kawhi must decide if he will remain with the Clippers or move on and seek a title elsewhere.
The Clippers will try to build on a season that saw them reach their first conference finals in team history while retaining some of the players that helped them get there.