LA Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard will officially miss Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed on Monday.
According to Lue, Leonard's exact return date is unknown, and he's unsure of how much progress Leonard has made since he first suffered the injury in Game 4 of the second round.
However, Lue said that Leonard has remained "very engaged" with the team and coaching staff throughout his rehab process, discussing adjustments and conversing regularly.
Leonard was in the midst of a strong postseason performance before he was sidelined, averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals in his first 11 appearances.
Fortunately, the Clippers have had several players step up in his absence. Terance Mann, who has replaced Leonard in the starting rotation, went off for a career-high 39 points in LA's series-clinching win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6. Additionally, Reggie Jackson is averaging 24.3 points and 5.7 assists over the last three games.
Nobody has had to take on a larger role than Paul George, though. The 31-year-old has shouldered an increased offensive load without Leonard on the floor, recording 33.0 points and 5.7 assists per game since he went down.
With that said, the Clippers can only survive without their star for so long. Given that Leonard hasn't been ruled out beyond Game 2, it seems that there's at least a chance that he could return for Game 3 when the series heads to Los Angeles. But with the severity of Leonard's injury not entirely clear, it's difficult to speculate when he might be in line for a return to action.
The LA Clippers will take on the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. PT.