NBA 2023: Kawhi Leonard recovering from another knee surgery

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard underwent another knee surgery after being forced out of the playoff series loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Leonard was hurt in Game 1 of the first-round series with the Suns and tried to play through the pain in Game 2 before being shut down with the right knee injury. He had surgery June 6, but is expected to be cleared for the start of training camp, the Clippers said.

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The concern for the franchise is that Leonard also injured his right knee during the 2021 postseason and missed the next season.

President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said the team is in constant contact with Leonard, who turns 32 next week.

“Just a cleanup (surgery), went terrific. Very, very quick procedure,” Frank said. “He feels great, talking to him, he feels great. It’s an 8-week recovery from the time of surgery where you’re back playing, like if it was a game. So we’re very fortunate that it was just a quick little cleanup.”

Paul George missed the playoffs with an injury but both players are under contract and remain the foundation of the Clippers’ roster, Frank said. Leonard is eligible to sign a new deal in July. Both players have $48 million options for 2024-25.

“We are trying to maximize these two and figure out ways we can get better,” Frank said.

Leonard played 52 games in the regular season in 2022-23 and has not played more than 57 games since joining the Clippers as a free agent. George played 56 games last season.

A five-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, Leonard averaged 23.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in 2022-23.

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