Kawhi Leonard could be back sooner than expected.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers star is ahead of schedule in his rehab of a right ACL injury and "a return to action this season is within reach."
Haynes writes that Leonard has ramped up his workload in recent weeks and is looking strong. Haynes adds the Clippers, who sat 19-19 heading into play Thursday, are unconcerned with playoff seeding and believe they can take down any team in the postseason if healthy.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP suffered a torn ACL in last year's playoffs against the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semis and had surgery in July. Leonard played in 52 games during the regular season last year, averaging 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
It was his second season in Los Angeles after joining the team in the summer of 2019 after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors. Leonard re-upped this summer on a four-year contract to remain with the Clippers.