Clippers say Kawhi Leonard has been released to play 5v5

Kawhi Leonard has been cleared of 5-on-5 basketball again, more than a year since his last NBA game.

Los Angeles Clippers president Lawrence Frank said Thursday the team will continue to have some caution with Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals player and five-time All-Star who tore the ACL in his right knee during the playoffs in June 2021.

Leonard missed the remainder of the post-season, and the entirety of last season.

Frank told reporters in Los Angeles, “Well, I think, one, he feels good. Two, his plan is, look, he wants to be involved in everything. And I think, three, organizationally, we’ll be careful. So it’s going to be a step-by-step approach.”

Leonard’s acquittal was expected, given how long he was sidelined and the typical time it takes to recover from ACL surgery. But it’s still a huge step for the Clippers, who believe they can compete for the championship this season if they’re healthy.

“You want those expectations,” Frank said. “Anytime you have a talented team, you have to have expectations. You embrace them, and you always have to shoot for the highest goal. Our goal is not just to try to compete and win the championship this year, but you will be in the same position this year.” the next and the following year after that.”

There was another positive injury news from Frank on Thursday. He said striker Paul George’s elbow injury – an injury he identified in 31 games last season – has also become a thing of the past. Frank also said George was crucial in recruiting the Clippers to former All-Star goalkeeper John Wall, who signed with the team hoping to revive his career after a long string of injuries.

Wall was named an All-Star in five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2018, but has played in only 82 games since then. He underwent surgery for bony spurs on his left heel, then tore his left Achilles tendon.

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