Kawhi Leonard expected out for season, Gregg Popovich says

8:06 PM ET

SAN ANTONIO — Spurs manager Gregg Popovich injected realism into a confidence surrounding harmed star brazen Kawhi Leonard on Wednesday, saying, “I’ll be astounded if he earnings this season.”

Leonard missed a initial 27 games of a unchanging season, and he returned to attend in 9 contests before a Spurs done a preference final month to sideline a brazen indefinitely. Recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard has told a classification during several stages of his reconstruction routine that he wasn’t gentle with his ability to play by a damage and that a Spurs should close him down.

“Well, we usually have X series of games left in a season, and he’s still not prepared to go,” Popovich said. “If by some possibility he is, it’s gonna be flattering late into a season. And it’s going to be a flattering tough decision: How late to pierce somebody back? So that’s since I’m usually perplexing to be honest and logical. I’ll be astounded if he gets behind this year.”

Sources: Kawhi’s rehab tale formulating rift

Kawhi Leonard’s formidable rehab is causing some issues between a All-Star and a Spurs’ coaching staff.

The 15th altogether collect in a 2011 NBA draft, Leonard has grown into one of a many widespread players in a league, apropos a two-time first-team All-NBA player, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of a Year and a 2014 NBA Finals MVP in a Spurs’ championship feat over a Miami Heat.

Despite Leonard’s deficiency and singular mins in a 9 games he has played, a Spurs are 35-24 and lay in a No. 3 mark in a Western Conference.

Multiple players voiced confidence per Leonard’s intensity return, including maestro brazen Rudy Gay, who will lapse from heel bursitis on Friday, when a Spurs strike a highway to face a Denver Nuggets.

“I consider that’s usually for we guys,” Gay pronounced of Popovich’s announcement. “You guys wish answers. He gave we an answer. We support Kawhi, though we can’t lay around watchful for anybody. We’re a team. People have stepped up. LaMarcus [Aldridge] has stepped up. Kyle [Anderson] has stepped up. Davis [Bertans] has stepped up. People are really perplexing to fill a purpose as best they could.

“If [Leonard] comes back, apparently he’s one of a best players in a league. We’ll acquire him with open arms. But we have a pursuit to do. We have to do that with or but them. We’re going to have to ready to make a run with or but him. we consider we’ll be happy if he comes back. But we still have to go out there and contest each night. We still feel like we’re a higher team.”

The Spurs primarily disclosed Leonard’s damage on Sept. 30, announcing that he would skip a whole preseason since of right quadriceps tendinopathy. Popovich pronounced during a time Leonard would “probably skip a commencement of a preseason or a good understanding of preseason,” and a manager indicated a quadriceps emanate initial grown someday in a 2016-17 season.

Leonard done his deteriorate entrance on Dec. 12. He after missed 3 games with a shoulder injury, afterwards returned to a lineup on Jan. 13 opposite Denver, scoring 19 points in 28 minutes. Days later, a Spurs done open a preference to close down Leonard indefinitely, promulgation him behind to San Antonio from a group outing by a Northeast.

“We’ll see. we wish to be positive,” pronounced maestro indicate ensure Tony Parker, who returned in Nov from a ruptured quadriceps tendon suffered during final season’s Western Conference semifinals. “I had a same injury. we came back. So we wish to stay certain that he’ll be back. we know he’s operative hard. I’m usually going to consider positive.”

Popovich had pronounced that Leonard “didn’t reinjure” a quad and insisted that a classification was imperfect on a side of counsel with a authorization player.

“Well, we’ve got to pierce on,” Popovich said. “The group has to comprehend that this is who we are, this is who we have, this is [who is] gonna play. Wishing and anticipating doesn’t do anybody any good. We’ve got to do what we can to be a best group probable as a deteriorate winds down. There’s usually 23 games left, something like that.”

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