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Clippers star Kawhi Leonard still out with knee injury despite solid 5-on-5 return

Los Angeles Clippers coach Ty Lue still isn’t sure when star Kawhi Leonard will take the court again.

Leonard did, though, participate normally in a 5-on-5 workout on Friday — which is a great sign.

"He played 5-on 5 with some of our guys, some of the players and some of the coaches," Lue said, via ESPN. "The first time he was able to get on the floor and play 5-on-5 and he looked pretty good. Still have a ways to go, but that was the first sign of positivity of him getting on the floor, playing 5-on-5."

Leonard has been sidelined since he first started experiencing issues in his right knee just a few games into the season. It's the same knee that was surgically repaired after his ACL tear in the 2021 playoffs, which kept him out of all of last season, the Clippers quickly sat him down.

That, though, was on Oct. 25. He’s missed nine games since the injury, and will miss at least Saturday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, if not more.

Leonard has played in two games this season, averaging 21 minutes off the bench. The Clippers have won five of their last six without Leonard, however, which is a big improvement after they initially dropped three straight without him.

At least for now, even after Friday’s step, there’s still no specific timeline for Leonard to return.

“It's gonna take a few more [workout] opportunities to get that in,” Lue said when asked about when Leonard can play again, via ESPN. “Then kind of reassess him to see how he's feeling after we go to medical and just kind of see if we check all the boxes."

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard looked "pretty good" in practice on Friday, but there's still no timeframe for his return. (Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)