Clippers confirm partial ACL tear for Kawhi Leonard, who had surgery on Tuesday

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The Los Angeles Clippers confirmed Tuesday what was largely assumed when Kawhi Leonard missed the end of the team's playoff run with a knee injury. The team announced that the All-Star forward suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee

He underwent surgery to repair the torn ligament Tuesday. There is no timetable for his return.

The Clippers played the last two games of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz and the entire Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Suns without Leonard. They won two straight against the Jazz without Leonard, but didn't have enough to get past the Suns with their five-time All-Star sidelined.

Clippers called the injury a 'sprain' throughout playoffs

Leonard appeared to suffer the injury late in Game 4 against the Jazz.

He remained in the game after tweaking his knee, but did not return for Game 5. The team classified the injury as a sprain throughout the rest of the playoffs as his playing status remained in question. Leonard's repeated absences in high-stakes games led to speculation that he had torn his ACL.

The ACL tear is on the same leg that Leonard suffered a lingering quadriceps injury in 2017 with the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard sat all but nine games that season with the injury. His displeasure with the team's medical staff over treating the injury ultimately led to Leonard forcing his trade to the Toronto Raptors. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - JUNE 10: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers looks on before Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on June 10, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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