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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue to be without their top two players for the time being.
Head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors there is no timetable for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to return from their injuries.
George has missed the past two games with a strained right hamstring tendon. The Athletic’s Law Murray reported Monday the seven-time All-Star would be reevaluated “in the next couple of days.”
Leonard’s status is potentially more concerning because of how limited he’s been this season. He didn’t play against the Warriors because of a sprained ankle suffered when he stepped on Amir Coffey’s foot late in Monday’s win over the Utah Jazz.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed 13 of 14 games, including 12 straight from Oct. 25 to Nov. 15, thanks to stiffness in the same knee he tore his ACL in during the 2021 playoffs.
The Clippers did get Leonard back for three consecutive games from Nov. 17-21. He played more than 20 minutes in all three games but only averaged 8.3 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting.
During the telecast of Wednesday’s game, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported Leonard and George underwent treatment in Los Angeles and “neither player is expected to have this be a long-term absence.”
Despite only having Leonard available for five games, the Clippers are off to a solid 11-8 start. They are sixth in the Western Conference on the strength of a defense that ranks second in rating (108.5) and third in points allowed per game (106.8).
The Clippers will need Leonard and George to play at their peak, especially on offense, to be title contenders. They have the third-worst offense in the NBA by rating (107.9) and rank last in scoring average (106.2).
Los Angeles has back-to-back home games Friday against the Denver Nuggets and Sunday against the Indiana Pacers before playing six of its next seven games on the road.