Report: Kawhi Leonard's return delayed again
What's the story?
Kawhi Leonard’s return back from the injury has been delayed yet again.
In case you didn't know...
Leonard has just played 9 games this season and has averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game which has been a massive drop from his 2016-17 season in which he had almost MVP type statistics.
The heart of the matter...
Leonard has now been ruled out for the home game against the New Orleans Pelicans after already being ruled out of the Tuesday’s night game against the Orlando Magic at the AT&T Center, per Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN.com. According to reports, he is feeling “much better” but is still not comfortable enough on his injured quadriceps to return to the floor.
Spurs coach Greg Popovich says Leonard, “has to be cleared by his medical staff” and also said that he is “frustrated” by the process according to Jeff McDonald of the San-Antonio-News.
I don’t have a set date right now [for my return], Leonard said, per Michael C.Wright of ESPN.com. “The progress I’ve been making has been great. [The pain] is diminishing. It’s hard to explain, but I’m definitely better I feel better, and I’m feeling more comfortable.”
We’ve taken the right steps,” Leonard added. “We don’t want to take any steps back and just aggravate things. Like I said: It’s hard to explain. But obviously, I’m a competitor, and if I can play, I’m going to go out and play like I did in the nine games, just to test it out. It just wasn’t where we wanted it to be.”
Leonard has told that he would be returning to the court at some point this season if he feels comfortable. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs have dropped down to the 9th spot in the Western Conference table after losing 9 of their last 12 games. They are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996-97.
If Kawhi Leonard feels that he is not fully fit, he could well take the rest of the season off. There is almost negligible chance of the Spurs upsetting the Rockets or Warriors even with him in the lineup.
From San Antonio's point of view, holding him out would probably result in the Spurs landing the 13th pick in June's draft.