Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been diagnosed with a lower left leg contusion, and he will join Paul George on the sideline vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)
Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for Sunday’s game against Cleveland only hours before tipoff, an injury that doubled the Clippers’ superstar void.
Leonard was sidelined because of a contusion in his lower left leg, according to the team, with coach Tyronn Lue saying he did not know when the forward might return. The injury occurred during the team’s two-game road trip last week, Lue added. It’s the fifth game missed this season by Leonard, who is averaging 26.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
The Clippers already were going to be playing without Paul George, because of swelling in a toe that has sidelined him for five consecutive games. George was slated to be re-evaluated upon the team’s return from the road over the weekend, but Lue said before Sunday’s tipoff that he had yet to speak with team president Lawrence Frank about George’s status.
In Leonard’s place, the Clippers planned to give Lou Williams his first start this season, alongside fellow guards Reggie Jackson and Patrick Beverley, forward Nicolas Batum and center Serge Ibaka.
Should the injury sideline Leonard for longer than one game, the timing is difficult for the Clippers (19-8), who play again Monday, against Miami, and then face Western Conference-leading Utah (22-5) on Wednesday and Friday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.