San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker thinks Kawhi Leonard is ‘close’ to normal

By Rob Wolkenbrod
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on October 21, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on October 21, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs will get back Tony Parker against the Dallas Mavericks. However, might Kawhi Leonard’s return be sooner than expected?

On Monday night, against the Dallas Mavericks, the San Antonio Spurs will get Tony Parker back. Due to a torn quad, suffered in the 2017 NBA Playoffs, he missed the first 19 games of the 2017-18 season.

Meanwhile, the Spurs have also missed Kawhi Leonard. He suffered a quad injury in the offseason, but how and when were not revealed. That’s along with a timetable to return. However, Parker himself may have provided some clarity on this situation.

According to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, the Frenchman said he practiced with Leonard, who looked “close” to being his normal self. He added that it could be “a couple of weeks, three weeks.”

Tony Parker said he practiced some with Kawhi Leonard during the rehab process and said the forward is "close" to being back to normal.

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) November 27, 2017

Parker said when he practiced with Leonard, he "forgot that he was that good." Parker added: "It’s still going to be, like I said, a couple of weeks, three weeks. They’re not going to take any risks. But he’s looking good so far. What he did with me, he’s looking good.”

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) November 27, 2017

If true, a three-week timetable puts Leonard’s return around Christmas Eve, or the days leading up to it. This potentially lines him up to return on Thursday, Dec. 21 at the Utah Jazz or Saturday, Dec. 23 at the Sacramento Kings. If the Spurs choose to wait for a home game, it could be Tuesday, Dec. 26 vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Whenever the former MVP candidate comes back, it will obviously be a boost for the Spurs. Entering Monday’s game, without him, they are 12-7. Most of these games have seen LaMarcus Aldridge rise to the occasion, taking on a leadership role in the offense and the team, in general. His 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds lead the team.

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While Leonard’s MVP hopes for 2017-18 have taken a considerable hit with each game he misses, his presence is an unquestioned factor in how successful the Silver and Black are. Whether it’s for the final three quadrants or the second half of the season, he’ll be important towards the team’s run for a top spot in the Western Conference.

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