April 14, 2024

Kawhi Leonard has yet to be cleared for a return to play, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said Friday, despite the team listing Leonard as questionable to play for the last four games, all of which he missed because of his left hip contusion.

When Leonard was hit by the knee of Dallas’ Grant Williams late in a win on Dec. 20, it aggravated a hip injury Leonard first sustained Dec. 8 at Utah, Lue said, when Leonard tumbled after being fouled .

“He aggravated it then and played through it, and then the Dallas game just kind of took it over the top,” Lue said.

On Thursday, Lue said Leonard would practice “a little bit” as the team prepared for Friday’s home game against Memphis. But before tipoff , Lue said Leonard had not participated in practice, instead working out afterward.

“He’s getting better but he’s not cleared to play ,” Lue said.

Any injury to Leonard is watched closely with the team considering his history, which included most recently the meniscus he tore last April that ended his season. Yet Leonard had proven especially durable by averaging 34.5 minutes while playing this season’s first 27 games — including four sets on consecutive nights. It marked the most consecutive games Leonard had played to begin a season since 2016-17.

Leonard is averaging 24.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists while making 56% of his shots inside the three-point arc and 42% beyond it. In the month of December he’d been even more productive, making 50% of his three-pointers.

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