Kawhi Leonard gets green light for 5-on-5 drills

2022-09-22 20:30

Clippers' president of basketball operations says the club may limit some of Kawhi Leonard's activity in training camp as the forward gears up for the 2022-23 season.

Credit: AFP-Scanpix
Credit AFP-Scanpix

The Los Angeles Clippers revealed their preseason optimism as soon as their lead executive addressed the biggest variable that will determine the team's championship fortunes.

The topic? Nothing other than Clippers star Kawhi Leonard and his health after missing the entire 2021-22 season to rehab his surgically repaired ACL in his right knee.

"He feels great," said Lawrence Frank, the Clippers' president of basketball operations, at the team's practice facility. "His plan is he wants to participate in everything."

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi  Leonard
Position: SF, SG
Age: 31
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 102 kg
Birth place: Riverside, United States of America

Despite their optimism about Leonard's talent, work habits, and recovery, the Clippers have other plans.

Frank said that the Clippers' medical staff has cleared Leonard to compete in five-on-five drills during training camp after participating this off-season in what Frank described as "a lot of controlled basketball." Yet, Frank suggested the Clippers will limit him in certain parts of training camp and the 2022-23 regular season.

"We're going to be cautious," Frank said. "It's going to be a step-by-step approach."

The Clippers open training camp on Tuesday in Las Vegas and begin their preseason on Sept. 30 with an exhibition game against Maccabi Ra'anana.

How much Leonard will play in those practices or in the preseason remain unknown and Frank wasn't yet ready to say what Leonard's workload will look like then or in the regular season.

"We're not going to get into predictions on what he will do or won't do, other than I know he wants to do everything," Frank said. "Then we'll figure out, 'Is that best for his body?' One day it could be. The next day we'll have to reassess, but we'll rely on the feedback we get from Kawhi and the medical team."



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