Kawhi Leonard injury update: Spurs reportedly not optimistic about return this season
Kawhi has left the team once again to continue rehab in New York
The long saga of Kawhi Leonard's quad injury doesn't appear to be nearing an end anytime soon. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Leonard has left the team for the second time this season to continue his rehab in New York. Reports circulated earlier this month that Leonard was on the verge of rejoining the lineup, but now Wojnarowski says the Spurs are losing confidence that their superstar will take the court again this season. Via ESPN:
For the second time this season, San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has traveled to New York to continue rehabilitation for his lingering right quad injury under the supervision of outside medical personnel, league sources told ESPN.
Leonard has been in New York since Monday and there's no timetable set on a possible return to San Antonio, sources said.
Time is running out on Leonard's chances of returning to the active roster this season and optimism has waned that Leonard will play in any of the Spurs' six remaining regular season games or join them in the Western Conference playoffs.
Head coach Gregg Popovich seemed to be preparing his team to play the rest of the season without Kawhi back in early February, when he told reporters that he'd be "surprised" if Leonard played again this season. Heading into Saturday, San Antonio had nestled into the No. 4 spot in the volatile Western Conference playoff standings, but remained just one game ahead of the No. 8 Pelicans, and three games ahead of the No. 10 Nuggets.
It's a testament to the Spurs' players, coaches and organization that they've managed to go 44-32 without last year's MVP finalist. San Antonio is looked at as a possible dark-horse championship contender if Kawhi is able to return, but without him it's hard to imagine they'll have enough firepower to compete with the star-laden teams atop the Western Conference.
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