Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue concedes Kawhi Leonard is unlikely to return this season and he fears Paul George could also be out for the rest of the campaign.
The Clippers host champions Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday and they are 17/10 to win in the Money Line, while the Bucks can be backed at 1/2.
Leonard has been out all season with an ACL injury but the Clippers had appeared hopeful he would be able to return in April, meaning he could have been involved in the postseason.
However, Lue has now admitted a return this season no longer looks like a realistic goal for the two-time champion.
George has missed the last 22 games with an elbow injury and is due to undergo further testing later this month.
The Clippers have managed to impress in the absence of their two stars and have four wins in their last six games, with the LA team seventh in the Western Conference with a 27-27 overall record.
Lue hasn't completely given up hope that Leonard could play some part this term, but he admits it is now looking unlikely.
"We know Kawhi's probably not gonna come back," said Lue, via ESPN. "We don't know the status of PG, but these guys continue to keep fighting. Every single night."
"I don't know," said Lue when asked to elaborate about Leonard's status. "I'm not a doctor. But hope is stronger than fear. So I'm hoping that these two guys can come back. But you never know."
The Clippers are expected to hand debuts to guard Norman Powell and forward Robert Covington when Milwaukee visit after the duo arrived from Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week.