Clippers star Kawhi Leonard feels good and is ready to play

When the Clippers open training camp in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Kawhi Leonard says he will be ready to practice.

Leonard is just recovering from a 15-month recovery from surgery on his right knee to repair a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, and Clippers president of basketball surgery Lawrence Frank said last week that the team is considering Leonard’s return to playing with a Mixture of excitement approaching and caution looking to prioritize All-Star wing availability for the postseason.

“The plan is to start training camp tomorrow,” said Leonard. “From there it’s all about seeing how my progress is, how I’m feeling, what I’m not doing or moving right, and from there just keep going and gradually building up, but right now I’m feeling good and the Plan is to start camp tomorrow and play.”

Part of feeling good, Leonard said, is not being disturbed when he jumps off his once-injured leg.

The Clippers have their first of four preseason games Thursday in Seattle. Leonard didn’t say how much, if any, he would attend preseason games.

Images of Leonard’s muscular physique circulated on social media during the offseason, and Leonard said he feels stronger after more than a year of weight training while getting in shape.

“I’m more happy that he’s healthy, that’s first of all, I’ve seen all his work, from the second he got injured to the work he’s done this off-season.” said fellow All-Star forward Paul George Leonard. “I have to watch from the outside how much work he has put in this year, really excited that he can do what he loves to do.

“Of course afterwards it’s exciting to play with the best two-way player in the game.”

Leonard said that if the Clippers had reached the NBA Finals last season, “they would have seen me play,” but the Clippers lost in the play-in tournament. That team, Leonard said, wowed him with their comebacks and resilience, but he noted that he wants the team to play smarter and noted several mistakes he’d seen in timeouts last season.

“Without the play-in tournament, we would have made the playoffs,” Leonard said. “I think that shows who they are as individuals and I think I can come in and help, help us win more games.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/story/2022-09-26/kawhi-leonard-clippers-media-day-he-is-ready-to-practice Clippers star Kawhi Leonard feels good and is ready to play

Emma Bowman

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