San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard targeting return vs. Mavericks

By Rob Wolkenbrod
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 14: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands on the court during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 14: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands on the court during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Kawhi Leonard won’t return vs. the Phoenix Suns, but the San Antonio Spurs may have him back next week.

Kawhi Leonard’s potential return date was mentioned for Saturday, Dec. 9, with the San Antonio Spurs’ game against the Phoenix Suns. It’s the start of a three-game road trip, which extends into the end of next week.

This won’t be the case, however, as ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright reported. The Spurs are targeting Leonard’s return against the Dallas Mavericks. It takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the American Airlines Center. This isn’t a finalized decision, either.

So, fans will go through at least one more game without the Klaw, who hasn’t played in any of the Spurs’ 26 games. Saturday’s matchup vs. Phoenix marks the 27th, representing over half the 2017-18 NBA season. The Silver and Black are 18-8, sans their star, with the latest win against the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

The potential return in Dallas obviously won’t be at home. It shouldn’t make a difference, though, as the earlier the Spurs can get Leonard back, the better for getting him back into the rotation and in game shape, if the latter isn’t already the case.

As for MVP aspirations, after missing at least 27 games, it’s safe to assume Leonard won’t be in the running for the award. That’s unless he goes on a torrid, unprecedented run through April and doesn’t get hurt. 2018-19 has a better chance at this happening, pending another mysterious injury doesn’t arise for the 26-year-old.

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The Leonard-less Spurs face the Suns at 9:00 p.m. ET on FSSW and FSAZ. Look for the same cast, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and potentially Danny Green, to lead the way against one of the worst teams, record-wise, in the Western Conference.

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