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How to handle Kawhi Leonard’s injury Saturday vs. T-Wolves [UPDATE]

Clippers All-Star was a late scratch Thursday due to back tightness. Thankfully, we get his status below lock this time.

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard works out prior to the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Feb. 1, 1:44 p.m. — Leonard will play this afternoon against the T-Wolves. We can rest easy people.

This is coming from Doc Rivers, so we shouldn’t have to worry much about Kawhi playing. However, after last game, we do need to be aware that the back could flare up again before tip-off. If that’s the case, we know the Clippers will 100% hold him out again to be careful. I’m not saying that will happen, but it’s just a scenario we need to consider. If you’re playing Showdown and the early DFS slate, I’d say Leonard is a risky play, only GPPs.

With Kawhi back it should help the team overall. Paul George is coming off a return from injury and Patrick Beverley is a bit banged up too. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell take a usage hit with Leonard in.

UPDATE: Jan. 31, 8:23 p.m. — Leonard is questionable to play Saturday vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As you can see, we’ve got the news before the game, which is the big thing here. With Leonard out Thursday, the Clippers started Landry Shamet and Moe Harkless with Patrick Beverley, PG-13 and Ivica Zubac. The team came out flat, but that likely won’t be the case against the T-Wolves.

Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams took advantage of Leonard’s absence, but PG only had eight points on 2-10 shooting. Kawhi’s return would boost the entire lineup. Thursday clearly was a chance to rest some guys.

UPDATE: Jan. 30, 11:55 p.m. — The Clippers finally ruled out Leonard out for the remainder of Friday’s game vs. the Kings, announcing the news in the third quarter.

Los Angeles Clippers F Kawhi Leonard was a late addition to the injury report, being deemed questionable to play well after the game was supposed to tip-off at 10:30 p.m. ET. Don’t look at me, check the time stamp. Kawhi went through pre-game warmups and everything appeared to be fine, so we can speculate something was tweaked then? We’ll keep you updated with some more info.

So instead of Kawhi, the Clipper started Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, Paul George, Moe Harkless and Ivica Zubac against Sacramento. If Leonard is indeed not going to play, expect plenty of PG and Lou Williams off the bench. George is now a very nice play if you have him. It sucks that we got this late, so if you had Kawhi in your lineup, we feel for you.