One week after Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a new report has emerged that suggests the coach very well could be stunned sometime in March.
Michael C. Wright and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN combined to report that Leonard is back in San Antonio and will begin working toward a return, hopefully sometime this upcoming month.
“Leonard isn’t expected to immediately start engaging in full five-on-five practices with his teammates, but the goal is to advance toward that level of engagement in the near future, league sources said.”
So far this season, Leonard has managed to participate in just nine games. A lingering quad injury that showed up well before camp began has taken over his 2017-18 campaign, but after receiving further consultation he’s going to give it another go.
The big issue now, per the report, is one of comfort. Leonard, who is reportedly at odds with some in the organization, has been told he won’t injure his quad further by playing. So we’ll see what kind of progress he makes toward that goal in the coming weeks.
Obviously the Spurs would love to have Leonard back in action. When healthy, he is a top-3 player in the NBA. He averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game in 2016-17 and is one of the most dominant perimeter defenders in the Association.