Clippers 'Being Optimistic' About Kawhi Leonard's Knee Injury, Ty Lue Says

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 17, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14: LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) ready for defense during the game 4 of the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers on June 14, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Head coach Ty Lue said the Los Angeles Clippers are "being optimistic" about the knee injury that kept Kawhi Leonard out of Wednesday' Game 5 against the Utah Jazz.

That's a change of pace from the team's initial announcement, when the team said there was "no timetable" for his return from the right knee sprain he suffered in Game 4. 

Leonard will undergo more testing over the next few days, and the team will wait for those results before determining his future status, according to Mark Medina of USA Today.  

With the series tied 2-2 entering Wednesday's game, the Clippers will at least play a Game 6, which is scheduled for Friday at 10 p.m. ET. 

Leonard deflected questions about his injury after Game 4, telling reporters simply that he was "good." He told teammates Tuesday that he wouldn't play in Game 5, according to Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.   

LeBron James offered his sympathies to Leonard on Twitter, then went off about the abbreviated schedule that the 2020-21 season followed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

LeBron James @KingJames

They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE

LeBron James @KingJames

works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now. 🙏🏾👑

While his absence is sure to be felt in Game 5, any more missed time could be brutal for the Clippers as they attempt to reach their first-ever Western Conference Finals. The star is averaging 30.4 points on 57 percent shooting so far this postseason.

During the regular season, he averaged 24.8 points with 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists through 52 games.