Leonard missed his seventh straight game because of right knee injury management Sunday night when the Clippers played the Utah Jazz. The former two-time NBA Finals MVP is also expected to miss Monday's game against Cleveland, and his return to the court remains uncertain.
"There's really not a time frame of when he is going to be back," Clippers coach Ty Lue said when asked if Leonard's status is considered more week-to-week than day-to-day now. "The biggest thing is just the testing that he has to go through with the medical and the slow progression of just getting better every single day. And so we're just taking it day by day right now, not really a timetable."
In addition to likely not having Leonard, the Clippers might have to face the Cavaliers on Monday without a true point guard. Starter Reggie Jackson did not play the final 18-plus minutes of the Clippers' 110-102 loss to Utah after banging his left knee with Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Jackson, who had his left knee wrapped and was limping after the game in the locker room, is hopeful he can play and said he did not think he would require an MRI on his knee.
John Wall, who had 12 points and six assists in 28 minutes against Utah, will not play as the Clippers continue to hold him out of at least one game in back-to-backs. Luke Kennard, who also handles the ball at times off the bench, did not play Sunday night because of discomfort in his chest.
Paul George expects to play point guard if Jackson is unavailable.
"It's a work in progress," George said of the Clippers' inconsistency to start the season. "Now we'll have another lineup, a different rotation tomorrow with John being out, possibly Reggie being out, not sure the status of Luke ... but it's early in the season. I think that's the good part about it. And I'm very optimistic this team will find our stride and start playing our best basketball when we need to. We're just going through those growing pains early."
Leonard played in two of the Clippers' first three games this season and logged 21 minutes in each game off the bench. But Leonard felt stiffness in his surgically repaired right knee at a morning shootaround prior to the Clippers' game at Oklahoma City on Oct. 25.
Leonard tore his right ACL in Game 4 of the second round against Utah back on June 14, 2021, and sat out all of last season to rehab the injury.
"He is progressing well," Lue said. "We knew coming off an ACL, it wasn't going to be a straight line. We talked about it before the season. The biggest thing is he's progressing well. We are going to follow the lead of our medical staff, we got to be smart about the situation, but he is progressing.
"... He is in a good place, he is progressing and he is getting better so that is the most important thing."