Kawhi Leonard has missed the first 24 games for the San Antonio Spurs, but he’s optimistic about a possible return this week.
After spending the last couple of months rehabbing a quad injury, San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard could return to the court within the coming days. He’s moving along quite well and is back to doing five-on-five workouts. When asked about it, the 26-year-old seemed in good spirits.
“I’m feeling pretty healthy right now,” said Leonard to ESPN’s Michael Wright. “I think they told you guys I’ve been playing five-on-five. So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s been good. Just still, just gotta go through a few more processes of doing that. I should be back soon.”
Wright then added that the team thought about playing Leonard this past Monday against the Detroit Pistons, a contest where they escaped with a 96-93 win. The Spurs’ next two games come at home against the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, which are set for Wednesday and Friday night, respectively.
San Antonio has miraculously started the season 16-8 without the NBA’s third-best player. It’s a testament to Popovich’s ability, and he talked about how Leonard is itching to start playing again. “He’s a pretty unique dude,” Pop said. “And he wants to get back. He doesn’t want to be sitting there.”
Last season, Kawhi Leonard had the best campaign of his career and averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He finished third in the MVP voting behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and also landed on his third-straight All-Defensive first team and his second-straight All-NBA first team.
Unfortunately, his campaign came to an abrupt end in the Western Conference Finals. During Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, Leonard shot a three, and Zaza Pachulia closed out but got underneath Kawhi as he landed, which resulted in a sprained ankle that kept him out for the rest of the series.
As of now, there’s no word on if Leonard will be under a minutes restriction once he returns. If Popovich decides on that, expect him to tell the media about it around the time that he officially activates Leonard.
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