Kawhi Leonard injury: Clippers fear star hurt ACL in right knee, per sources


The Los Angeles Clippers fear star Kawhi Leonard suffered an ACL injury, sources told The Athletic. The team announced earlier Wednesday that Leonard is out indefinitely with a right knee sprain, ahead of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz.

Leonard traveled with the team to Salt Lake City on Tuesday, then flew back to Los Angeles, according to Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. Terance Mann took Leonard's place in the starting lineup for Game 5. The series is tied at two games apiece.

"Trying to be optimistic, wait for everything to clear up," Lue said. "Get the testing back, next 48 hours or so, and kind of go from there."

Leonard sat out the final 4:35 of the Clippers' Game 4 win after Jazz wing Joe Ingles fouled Leonard, who appeared to tweak his right knee while driving to the basket. Leonard walked off the court clutching his knee but returned before missing both free throws.

Despite the injury, Leonard didn't seem bothered during a postgame interview, saying, "Nah, I'll be good."

The forward dropped 31 points and seven rebounds on 9-of-19 shooting in the Clippers' 118-104 win. He is averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 11 games this postseason. He garnered first-team All-NBA honors for the third time in his career this season.

The Clippers were 11-9 in the regular season without Leonard. One of those losses came against the Jazz in February, but Paul George also sat out that game.

"I've been counted out my whole life ... not really worried about the chatter," Lue said when asked about the talk following Leonard's injury. "We were counted out in the first series as well."

The Jazz will also be without one of its top players for Game 5 on Wednesday. Guard Mike Conley will miss his fifth straight game for Utah due to a hamstring injury.