The Los Angeles Clippers may have to finish the 2021-22 NBA season without their top two superstars. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are sidelined due to injuries and their chances of possibly returning this season are not looking so good.

Regardless, the Clippers have managed to hang on and sport a 27-27 win-loss record. That is good for eighth place in the Western Conference standings although there are a lot of basketball ahead.

It is a testament that the Clippers have managed to keep their campaign afloat despite the absence of Leonard and George. Although there was some optimism that Leonard and/or George could return, it appears head coach Tyronn Lue is just trying to make things work right now.

Lue hinted that Leonard is unlikely to return this season, comments he made after the Clippers won over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

The one-time NBA champion coach also confirmed that George will undergo an MRI on his right elbow on Feb. 24. Between Leonard and George, the latter could still try and play again and forego any medical procedure to address the ulnar collateral ligament he tore almost two months ago.

“I hope he's feeling good,” Lue said. “I don't know, but things can change — just something to look forward to. Hope is stronger than fear.”

Lue also hailed the current crop of players for stepping up, knowing that uncertainty is in the air regarding the two top stars.

“But the enjoyment I get from this team, we know Kawhi's probably not gonna come back, we don't know the status of PG, but these guys continue to keep fighting, every single night,” the two-time NBA champion said.

There remains a slim chance that both Leonard and PG may return. A lot may depend on the diagnosis or progress of their injuries. Lue may welcome it but is likely to assess the situation – including the chances of the Clippers come the NBA playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers dribbles during a 111-91 Denver Nuggets preseason win at Staples Center on October 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images

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