Clippers Fear ACL Injury For Kawhi Leonard


12:37pm: More imaging will be performed on Leonard’s knee to determine the severity of the injury, but those tests will have to wait until the swelling subsides, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

11:57am: The Clippers fear that forward Kawhi Leonard has suffered an ACL injury, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Leonard will miss Game 5 of Los Angeles’ series against the Jazz on Wednesday night due to a right knee injury that the Clippers referred to today as a sprain. Neither the team’s announcement nor Charania’s report indicates that Kawhi is undergoing an MRI on his injured knee, but presumably that would be the next step to determine if there’s any damage to the ACL.

A full tear of the ACL would be a worst-case scenario for Leonard and the Clippers, but even a partial tear would almost certainly be a season-ender — that’s the injury that has kept Spencer Dinwiddie on the shelf since December. A low-grade sprain would be the best case, tweets Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes.

The timing couldn’t be much worse for Leonard and the Clippers, who have won two games in a row against Utah and are just two games away from making the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history. With Kawhi unavailable on Wednesday – and potentially for longer than that – the Clippers have suddenly become major underdogs to get past the Jazz and into the third round.

We’ll provide more updates on Leonard’s status as they’re reported or announced.