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Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be ready to go when the Los Angeles Clippers open training camp next week.
Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank told reporters on Wednesday both All-Stars are “fully healthy” and will participate in camp.
“Both are fully healthy,” Frank said. “I think both have had extremely productive offseasons, and obviously our two best players are totally invested in doing special things for the Clippers. They show it with their actions, so I think we’re really excited that they’re both fully healthy and will be full participants in camp.”
After missing the 2021-22 season with a torn ACL, Leonard’s 2022-23 campaign came to an early end when he tore the meniscus in his knee just two games into L.A.’s first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Leonard suffered the injury in Game 1 and played through the ailment in Game 2 before being shut down for the rest of the series.
George missed the final 14 games last season, including the playoffs, with a sprained knee that didn’t require surgery. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a March 21 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when he landed awkwardly after colliding with Luguentz Dort.
Frank told reporters June 23 that Leonard had a “cleanup” procedure on his knee at the start of the month and was given an eight-week recovery timeline.
Frank added that Leonard was expected to be ready for the start of training camp in August, and head coach Ty Lue said in September that he and George were on pace to be 100 percent by training camp.
In 52 regular season games in 2022-23, Leonard averaged 23.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and 41.6 percent from beyond the arc.
George was averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in 56 starts last season before the knee injury.
Leonard has spent the last four seasons of his career in Los Angeles alongside George, but seemingly never-ending injuries to the two superstars has made it difficult for the franchise to contend for an NBA title.
That duo has only played a total of 118 regular-season games together over the past four seasons, but the Clippers have an 83-35 record in those contests.
The health of both Leonard and George will be a big storyline for the Clippers entering the 2023-24 season, and keeping both players available for the duration of the campaign should be the team’s top priority.
Los Angeles opens training camp on Tuesday before hosting the Utah Jazz in its preseason opener on Oct. 8.
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