Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue delivered expected news on Monday.
Per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night as he works to recover from the knee injury that has sidelined him for the past three contests. Lue added that Leonard has "remained engaged" throughout the past week despite his absences:
Ty Lue said Kawhi Leonard texted him 40 minutes ago. Leonard has remained engaged in the Clippers’ defensive strategies and game plans to understand what he’s seeing when he watches games and talks to players. Kawhi wanted to FaceTime by Lue isn’t really a FaceTime guy.— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) June 21, 2021
Ivica Zubac says Kawhi Leonard has been very involved with helping the team with what he sees from talking to the team in the locker room in Game 6 vs Utah to being active in the players' group text chat. Zubac says Kawhi is all about the details when giving players what he sees.— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) June 21, 2021
Reports surfaced over the weekend that Leonard would not travel to Phoenix for the first two games of the series so he could continue rehabbing what is believed to be an ACL injury. It's unknown if he'll be available for Game 3 Thursday night or at all for the rest of the playoffs.
The Suns defeated the Clippers 120-114 in Sunday's series opener.