While Kawhi Leonard's naturally reserved approach to his profession often leaves people guessing, this is especially the case when it comes to his injuries. Since Kawhi Leonard's injury in the 2017 playoffs that ultimately led to his departure from San Antonio, both he and his team have been very reserved with his health status.
This is unlikely to change this year as Kawhi recovers from a partially torn ACL, which is why everyone seems to be reverting to the same answer when it comes to the possibility of Kawhi returning next season. In a media appearance on Friday afternoon, Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said that "No one knows" whether or not Kawhi will return next season.
This was on par with what Steve Ballmer told the media at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Intuit Dome, when he said that "Nobody knows at this stage... It's possible. For sure, it's possible. But it will depend on what the doctors say and what Kawhi says."
Ballmer added a bit more optimism than Lawrence Frank did; however, both made it clear that nobody knows at this stage. While ACL tears are usually a year-long recovery, the most recent example of a player recovering from a partially torn ACL, which is what Kawhi suffered, is Washington Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie, who was a member of the Brooklyn Nets at the time of his injury, suffered a partial ACL tear in December of 2020. As the Nets were progressing in their playoff run, there were reports that Dinwiddie could potentially be available for the NBA Finals, which were played in July.
Both Kawhi and the Clippers will likely be cautious with his return, which is certainly the right move; however, that is ultimately all the available knowledge when it comes to a potential timetable.