An inside look on the updated injury history of Clippers star, Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

After being drafted 15th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, LA Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard has established quite a name for himself. Leonard has won multiple championships and followed up with two Finals MVPs and two defensive player of the year awards. Even today, he is widely regarded as one of the league’s most talented players.

After partially tearing his ACL in the LA Clippers’ historic playoff run, Leonard has been playing exceptionally well since the start of the 2022-23 NBA season. Furthermore, he was recently ruled out of the back-to-back match-ups against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to knee stiffness.

Fortunately for Clipper fans, head coach Tyronn Lue mentioned before the game that he is not concerned as Leonard was mainly ruled out for precautionary reasons. This is an excellent sign, as the team understands how vital his contributions will be during a deep postseason run.

Moreover, his past injuries have helped him develop as a player and leader. Some of the surgeries Leonard has previously gone through should be in consideration when adjusting his minutes this season. On top of his ACL, the LA Clippers’ coaching staff must focus on keeping their best player ready when the team needs him.

Despite his hall-of-fame resume, Leonard has a prominent injury history that should be noted.

Before his time with the LA Clippers, Kawhi Leonard battled countless injuries with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors. One of the first significant injuries he faced was his quadriceps in 2012, which caused him to miss a portion of that season.

Two years later, Leonard suffered a metacarpal fracture in his right hand, keeping him sidelined for approximately three to four weeks. This was a crucial part of his career as he was adjusting to being one of the best two-way players in the league.

Onward, Leonard endured an ankle injury following his hand fracture during the 2017 Western Conference Finals. In this game, he re-aggravated the same ankle twice, eventually keeping him out of that series. Additionally, this move raised controversy as the Golden State Warriors big man, Zaza Pachulia, landed under Leonard’s foot when closing out on a mid-range shot.

As he only played nine games throughout the 2017-18 season, Leonard was attempting to make a comeback from an injury to his quadriceps. This was the year before he was involved in one of the biggest trades of the 2010s.

In December 2020, Leonard required stitches near his mouth, forcing him to wear a mask for a number of games. This did not hold him back, as he did what superstars do by continuing to dominate.

In addition, Leonard suffered a partially torn ACL with the LA Clippers, marking this as the most crucial injury of his career. His ACL tear kept him out for the entire 2021 season as he is still acclimating to the pace of an NBA game.

Next. The LA Clippers take their second loss of the season to the Thunder. dark

Not to mention, Leonard has also missed games throughout the years due to soreness, contusions, and other minor injuries. These hardships have motivated Leonard to work as hard as he can to make a full recovery. This is no different with the Clippers, as Lue and the rest of the team know that once he is ready to play regular minutes, the rest of the league is in trouble.