LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard will miss his third game of the season Friday when his team visits the New Orleans Pelicans.
Per the league's official injury report, the 2019 Finals MVP has been ruled out with "left knee injury management." Joining Leonard on the inactive list is starting point guard Patrick Beverley, who will sit with a sore left calf.
LA has been cautious with its newest star so far this season as he has yet to appear in both ends of a back-to-back. Prior to missing Friday's game, Leonard missed the front end of two back-to-backs with what was ruled as "load management"
Leonard's absence comes less than 24 hours after the Clippers suffered a nine-point road loss to the Houston Rockets, a game in which he delivered a solid performance with 26 points (on 10-for-12 shooting), 12 rebounds and seven assists but logged a season-high 41 minutes of action.
Through his first nine games as a Clipper, Leonard is averaging 26.8 points. 8.9 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while appearing in 32.4 minutes per contest.
Softening the blow of being without Leonard and Beverley is the likely return of All-NBA forward Paul George, who is listed as 'probable' Friday after missing the Clippers' first 11 games of the season while he rehabilitated both of his shoulders.
George and the 7-4 Clippers look to bounce back from Thursday's narrow loss as they wrap up a quick two-game road trip at the Smoothie King Center.