Gregg Popovich Doesn't Know When Kawhi Leonard Will Return from Injury Rehab

"For the second time this season, San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has traveled to NY to continue rehabilitation for his lingering right quad injury under the supervision of outside medical personnel, league sources told ESPN", Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright reported.

Leonard is now in NY undergoing further evaluation and rehab on his quad, which has limited him to just nine games this season. That remains the case against the Clippers, as Kawhi Leonard will not play due to the "return from injury management" label, according to the official injury report. Unless things were to drastically change over the next few days, Leonard looks to be trending toward being out for the rest of the season.

Leonard left San Antonio and his teammates in the aftermath of increasing tension levels surrounding his disconnect with the team and several near-returns that resulted in Leonard backing off and staying on the sidelines.

Leonard has missed all but nine games this season while nursing right quadriceps tendinopathy, an injury that flared up late in the offseason.

Added up, the playoffs are about to commence and San Antonio has no clue whether it will have the services of the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Is there a possibility Leonard could get clearance from his doctors on this trip?

"He is not coming back", Ginobili said.

"I've been through it", Tony Parker told reporters recently. Same kind of injury, but mine was 100 times worse. "You just try to stay positive". Leonard informed the Spurs on January 17 that he needed to take time away to focus on rehabilitation. "When he and his group feel he's ready, then he'll be ready".

On Sunday, before the Spurs' game against the Houston Rockets, head coach Gregg Popovich reiterated that idea, making reference to a lack of communication with Kawhi and his "group".

"It's the same as a player who is the 13th man sitting on the end of the bench", Popovich said.

  • Jon Douglas