- Kawhi Leonard is reportedly set to return to the Spurs after spending time in New York looking for further consultation on his lingering injury.
- Leonard’s return comes as a bit of a surprise, with the rift between him and the Spurs has become public in recent weeks, and head coach Gregg Popovich saying earlier in February that he would be surprised if Leonard played again this season.
- Should Leonard come back healthy, there’s a chance he could come back to the court in time to help the Spurs make a run in the postseason.
The ongoing back-and-forth between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs looks to finally be taking a step in the right direction.
According to a new report from ESPN, Leonard is expected to return to the team’s practice facility in the next week, and aims to return to the court, possibly as soon as late March.
Leonard, who has missed all but nine games of the 2017-18 NBA season with an injury to his right quad, has been conspicuously absent from the Spurs’ team activities. Recently, he was in New York looking for further consultation on his injury, despite reports that team doctors had already cleared his return.
Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs was already a bit rocky, with reports that Leonard had become “disconnected” from the team in the midst of his lingering injury. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said the dispute stemmed from some family issues, with Leonard’s uncle and business manager as the source of some tension between the two parties.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said earlier in February that he would be surprised if Leonard played again this season.
The new report offers some hope to the possibility that Leonard makes it back onto the court before the end of the season, or possibly just in time for San Antonio’s run in the playoffs.
We won’t know more until Leonard starts practicing with the team again and tests the limits of his physicality in the wake of his recovery, but with the Spurs currently facing a daunting end-of-season schedule, he can’t return soon enough.
The Spurs are currently fourth in the tightly contested Western Conference, but sit just three games clear of ninth place and dropping out of the playoffs altogether.
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