Kawhi Leonard will not play in the play-in game vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
While the door has not been closed on a potential Kawhi Leonard return during the postseason, that return will not happen for the first play-in game. The LA Clippers have released their injury report for Tuesday night’s showdown vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Kawhi Leonard has officially been ruled out. His absence comes in addition to the expected absences of Jay Scrubb and Jason Preston, who have been ruled out for the season.
In addition to those three expected absences, Luke Kennard is being listed as questionable with a sore hamstring. The league’s leading three point shooter aggravated that hamstring during the team’s final game vs. the OKC Thunder, and his status is now questionable for the play-in.
As for Kawhi Leonard, there was never much hope that he would be ready for this contest; however, there have been sporadic reports indicating he may be able to return at some point during the playoffs. Perhaps the biggest affirmation for these reports is the fact that the team has yet to rule him out for the season, even with the play-in game just one day away. Ty Lue also refuted reports that the Clippers would be unwilling to drop Kawhi into a playoff atmosphere without any regular season ramp up, which further solidifies the idea that a postseason return is indeed possible.
While several signs point towards Kawhi potentially attempting a return at some point, that will not happen for this first play-in game vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves.