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Reports: Kawhi Leonard back with Spurs in San Antonio

Yash Matange
733   //    27 Feb 2018, 11:22 IST

Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard

What's the story?

Two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard plans to resume work with the San Antonio Spurs this week and hopes to start playing on the court by late March.

In case you didn't know

Rehabbing through a right quad injury and a partial tear in his left shoulder, Leonard has played only nine games so far this season. The least he has ever played in his NBA career.

Heart of the matter

The reporting on this particular case of Leonard's rehab began in late January when reports came out of his relationship with the franchise being strained. What makes this situation weird is that multiple reports suggest that he had already been medically cleared by the team for quite a while but the star preferred to stay in New York for a second opinion on his injury and subsequent rehab, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Woj, in his latest report, further added that Leonard has returned to San Antonio but he isn't expected to immediately take part in 5-on-5 action in practice.

The conversation surrounding this rehab issue increased last Wednesday, during the Spurs' first practice session after the All-Star break, when head coach Gregg Popovich mentioned that he would be 'surprised' if Leonard returns this season.

Well, it's safe to say he is surprised now.

What's next?

With their win on Sunday over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Spurs were able to close out their annual Rodeo road trip (6 games) on a positive note after losing their previous four games. They now play three-straight games at home (next one against the Pelicans on Wednesday night) before heading off for another tough 3-game road trip (@Golden State, @OKC, @Houston).

Author's Take

This was probably blown out of proportion by the media but they aren't completely at fault. Nobody is. Leonard, relatively silent by nature, had not cleared his side of the story and that led to a lot of suspicion and tension, particularly with his quickly approaching 2019 free agency.

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Yash Matange
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