The San Antonio Spurs could have Kawhi Leonard against the Oklahoma City Thunder, if head coach Gregg Popovich’s words are any indication.
The last time Kawhi Leonard played for the San Antonio Spurs, they had a double-digit point lead over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. One Zaza Pachulia closeout and ankle injury later, Leonard missed the remainder of the series, as the Spurs were swept.
As for the 2017-18 season, the San Diego State product missed the training camp, preseason and first 22 games due to a quad injury. Nothing was revealed on how or when he suffered it.
However, before Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, head coach Gregg Popovich said Leonard was in the “last steps” of the rehab process. Although he didn’t provide an official timetable for return. As soon as Sunday night, however, that may change. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News asked Popovich about his star player’s status for the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which he didn’t rule a return out for.
Asked Pop is there's any chance Leonard plays Sunday in OKC. He didn't say no: “We’re just talking about tonight.” … Still think it makes more sense to bring him back at home. That usually Pop's m.o.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 2, 2017
This game will be in Oklahoma City. Like McDonald noted, it may world better to bring Leonard back at home. That means a return on Monday, Dec. 4, vs. the Detroit Pistons, so the wait wouldn’t be long either way.
By missing the first quarter of the season, Leonard may be out of the MVP race. It’s arguably too much time away, while players, like, James Harden, Kevin Durant and LeBron James have played most or all of the season. So, any MVP hopes for the “Claw” may be on hold until the 2018-19 campaign.
The Spurs play the Thunder at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBA TV, FSOK and FSSW. Stay tuned for a recap of the night’s events and if Leonard returns.