Kawhi Leonard, the injured Clipper, gets a stunning update from an analyst.

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Kawhi Leonard, the injured Clipper, receives a stunning update from an analyst.

Whatever the Clippers do this NBA season, the question will loom over everything they do, no matter how high or low they go.

We’ll always add the qualifier: depending on whether Kawhi Leonard plays.

If Kawhi Leonard plays, the Clippers may make it back to the Western Conference finals.

If Kawhi Leonard plays, the Clippers will be a serious contender.

If—you guessed it—Kawhi Leonard plays, the Clippers might win their first-ever championship.

Clippers fans can put that add-on to rest, according to one of the team’s most prominent supporters, Fox Sports gum-flapper Skip Bayless, because he claims he’s been told Leonard will not be returning this season.

“I was informed, a little breaking news, that Kawhi will not be back this year,” Bayless said on his co-hosting show, Undisputed, last week.

“There was supposed to be a great shot, but it was more the Clippers’ decision to shut it down for the rest of the year.”

So there’s no need to be concerned about the Clippers.”

Kawhi Leonard will not be returning this season, according to.@RealSkipBayless. pic.twitter.comRutL7cxxYQ

— November 9, 2021 — UNDISPUTED (@undisputed)

It’s possible that Leonard won’t be able to return due to time constraints.

Bayless’ claim can be viewed through two different lenses, and depending on which one you choose, you’ll either think he’s right or that he’s completely wrong.

Begin with a common sense perspective.

On June 15, close to the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Utah, Leonard suffered a partially torn ACL.

Rehab for a torn ACL takes about a year on average, with nine months being the shortest.

Leonard would be out for the year if he sat for a year.

Even nine months away from the game would be difficult.

Leonard would be ready to return by mid-March, but due to his need for time to adjust, he would most likely not play until early April, giving him only two weeks of preparation time before the playoffs begin.

Even if Leonard is ready in nine months—which he is unlikely to be—that may not be enough time for him to be effective when he returns to the court, which will most likely be in the playoffs.

Suppose…

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