San Antonio Spurs: Gregg Popovich not hopeful of Kawhi Leonard return

Jonathan Hernandez
February 23, 2018

The report cites sources that say that Kawhi has been medically cleared to return but that he's decided not to play until he can manage the pain that his injury is causing him.

Kawhi Leonard made his season debut on 12 December but has played only eight games since. It started with a mysterious quadriceps injury before the season started, a shoulder ailment after his return and back to the bench after the Spurs were not pleased with his rehab on the quad.

The Spurs are preparing to play the rest of the season without forward Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said.

Leonard, who sustained the injury at some point last season, was not ready for the beginning of the 2017-2018 season. "I'll be surprised if he gets back this year".

The Spurs, meanwhile, have been chugging along like they always do, amassing a record of 35-24, good for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. But it's going to be a tough decision, how late do you bring somebody back?

The two-time NBA All-Star averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season before suffering a setback. "We've got to do what we can to be the best team possible". The team has continued without their best player, and it's a testament to the coaching acumen of the legendary Pop.

Leonard is now away from the Spurs to pursue second opinions on his right quad in NY, according to ESPN. The nine-year veteran also has played for Indiana, Golden State and Utah and was on the Warriors' team that won the 2015 National Basketball Association title. "I had never seen it before those guys". Not to mention, Kawhi could come back sooner than predicted, the Spurs could switch spots in the standings with another team such as the Wolves or some other unforeseen scenario could happen preventing the possibility (or preference) of a Jazz-Spurs matchup at all.

One thing to be wary of is the fact that Popovich has been dogged by questions all season about Leonard's health.

With the All-Star break coming to an end, the San Antonio Spurs are now focusing on competing for the championship this year but will have to do so without their star player. The Spurs had team personnel accompanying Leonard in NY, sources said.

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