Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee, which could be very problematic.
Leonard didn’t take the court in the Clippers’ final three games of the first-round playoff series against the Suns because he injured himself in Game 1, a series the Clippers lost 4-1.
It was even tougher to watch Leonard on the sidelines as he was joined by teammate Paul George, who suffered a right knee injury (sprain), which kept him out of the postseason.
“It’s always in the back of your mind, ‘What if.’ It’s easy to say, ‘What if,’ because a lot of guys get hurt,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said Tuesday night. “It’s just been our luck the last three years.”
The franchise and Leonard will decide on treatment within the next fortnight because the options are vastly different and will depend on the type of tear Leonard has experienced, as well as the severity.
If his tear is on the outer one-third of the meniscus, it may heal on its own or be repaired surgically.
But if the tear is in the inner two-thirds, it will not heal on its own and may need to be trimmed or removed surgically, according to the University of Pennsylvania Medicine Department.
If the tear is minor it can be treated non-surgically and recovery can only take around three to four weeks.
But, if surgery is required, rehab time for a meniscus repair is around three to six months.
Now that Leonard has experienced another knee injury in the same knee that he had a partially torn ACL (which kept him out of the whole 2022 season), the risk of ongoing complications with that knee is higher.
Before he was diagnosed, NBA personality Stephen A. Smith called for the veteran to retire and another Insider, Colin Cowherd revealed he has stopped communicating with teammates and coaches in the way he should be.
Unfortunately, this could spell the end of Kawhi Leonard at the Clippers or could even mean retirement from the NBA.