Updating a previous report, Leonard (groin) has been medically cleared to play, but has elected against returning to the active roster, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich indicated earlier Wednesday that he would be surprised if Leonard returned this season and this latest update only further muddies the situation. According to Wojnarowski, Leonard has been medically cleared for a return, so the fact that he's opting not to play appears to be a pain tolerance issue. While coach Popovich said he didn't expect Leonard back, he did leave open the possibility. "We only have X number of games left in the season, and he's still not ready to go. If by some chance he is, it's gonna be pretty late into the season and it's going to be a pretty tough decision; how late to bring somebody back. So that's why I'm just trying to be honest and logical. I'll be surprised if he gets back this year." Considering the situation, fantasy owners may want to hold on to Leonard for now until more clarification is provided.
Leonard has played a total of nine games during the 2017-18 campaign, as he's been limited by recurring tendinopathy in his right quad. While the Spurs originally believed their star forward would return prior to season's end, Popovich's update suggests the team could be prepared to soldier on without the star wing. The news amounts to a significant blow for fantasy owners who have held on to Leonard for this long, but it may be wise to hold on a little longer just to make sure reports about the 26-year-old's health don't improve in the near future. Assuming Leonard remains out, Kyle Anderson will continue starting at small forward in his place, while the Spurs run their offense largely through LaMarcus Aldridge.
Leonard (quad) is expected to return at some point before season's end, Paul Garcia of TheSportsDaily.com reports.
Leonard was shut down for an indefinite period of time on Jan. 17 with recurring tendinopathy in his right quad, and that designation of 'out indefinitely' still remains intact, but there's room for optimism that he'll be able to redeem some fantasy value at the tail end of the regular season. His situation remains convoluted, to say the least, but the 26-year-old should still be rostered in just about every season-long format in the event he returns at a moment's notice when the Spurs' training staff deems him ready for live action.
Leonard, due to the recurrence of tendinopathy in his right quad, will be sidelined for an "indefinite period" of time, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports.
According to McDonald, the Spurs' medical staff has "recommended putting the 26-year-old back on ice", with coach Gregg Popovich adding that "[The quad] hasn't responded the way we wanted it to." Given that the injury isn't healing as desired, it's not too surprising the Spurs are opting to play it safe with their star player. While he's sidelined, LaMarcus Aldridge should see a significant bump in usage once more. He averaged 22.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks across 33.5 minutes per game prior to Leonard making his return. Kyle Anderson should also see an uptick in workload on the wing. He posted 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a combined 2.0 steals/blocks in 27.5 minutes per game while Leonard was sidelined.
Leonard has was held out of Monday's game in Atlanta, which marked his fourth absence in five games, thought the Spurs looked to simply be exercising caution after the All-Star played 28 minutes in Saturday's win over the Nuggets. While Leonard's status could still change over the next 24 hours, at this point all signs point to Leonard returning to the lineup at small forward Wednesday. In the win over Denver, Leonard finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block.
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|2009-10||San Diego State||34||1064||166||365||45.5||16||78||20.5||85||117||72.6||433||12.7|
|2010-11||San Diego State||36||1172||211||475||44.4||25||86||29.1||110||145||75.9||557||15.5|
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|2009-10||San Diego State||34||1064||336||9.9||65||1.9||47||1.4||24||0.7||77|
|2010-11||San Diego State||36||1172||380||10.6||91||2.5||51||1.4||21||0.6||76|