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Kawhi Leonard 'cleared for full participation' for training camp in a huge boost for the Clippers

Kawhi Leonard has proven to be one of the best players in the NBA, when he is on the court.

Kawhi Leonard ‘is cleared to participate fully’ in training camp in a big boost for the Clippers, but the team will be ‘cautious’ with the star after he missed ALL of last season with a torn ACL

Kawhi Leonard is set to return from injury and play 5-on-5 in training camp next week as the five-time All-Star has reportedly been cleared to participate fully following his torn ACL. earlier in 2021.

Leonard hasn’t played a game since June 14, 2021, when he injured his knee in a second-round playoff win against the Jazz.

And while the Clippers will apparently take their time getting back up the lead, Leonard is back in good health according to his president of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank.

“It feels great,” Frank said via ESPN.

‘His plan is, look, he wants to participate in everything. And I think organizationally, we’re going to be cautious. So it will be a step by step approach.’

Leonard has an extensive injury history dating back to his days with the Spurs, with recent seasons defined as much by load handling as he is by his raw talent.

The 31-year-old hasn’t played more than 60 regular-season games since 2016-17, but he could easily contend with the Clippers again if he stays healthy.

Paul George missed a large part of last season through injury, playing just 31 games.

Paul George missed a large part of last season through injury, playing just 31 games.

“When you’re dealing with a major injury, you can’t predict,” Frank said. “I know that he wants to do everything with him, but we will see how he feels every day.”

‘We have an exceptional medical team, and we are playing the long game with them. So we’re not going to go into predictions, what it will or won’t do.

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‘…We’ll find out, is that what’s best for his body? One day it may be. The next day, we’ll have to reevaluate. We’ll rely on the feedback we get from Kawhi, obviously from the medical team. It is too early to predict. We have time before we have to get there.

Leonard’s long-awaited return becomes even more significant with the latest update on his co-star Paul George, who is ‘100 percent healthy’ according to Frank following a UCL tear in his elbow.

Leonard sits on the sidelines before the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks last Sunday

Leonard sits on the sidelines before the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks last Sunday

George managed to play just 31 games last season as the Clippers failed to make the playoffs in an injury-plagued year.

But things could be looking up for the franchise if its stars can at least stay mostly healthy.

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They went 49-23 in the abbreviated 2019-20 season before blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals, and reached the Western Conference Finals the next season before falling to the Suns without Leonard. .

He and George will need to avoid serious injuries for the Clippers to have a chance, but there is more than enough talent around them to keep the fort going in the event of short-term absences.

John Wall has been signed on a friendly deal with the team, Marcus Morris Sr. and Ivica Zubac will provide physicality and Luke Kennard and Robert Covington should provide significant space when they are in the lineup.

The Clippers have often been viewed as an elite team when healthy, and a title is surely within reach if Leonard and George can stay off the bench.

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