The San Antonio Spurs officially listed Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Late last week, an ESPN report noted Kawhi Leonard’s targeted return for Tuesday, Dec. 12 vs. the Dallas Mavericks. It would be the end of a 27 game absence, which spanned the entire 2017-18 season for the San Antonio Spurs, due to a quad injury.
On Monday night, the Spurs all but confirmed Leonard’s return for the Mavericks game. He was listed as “probable.” The same for Danny Green, who missed Saturday night’s game, with a groin injury.
Outside of them, Kyle Anderson was ruled out, with a left MCL sprain. This will be the fifth game he misses.
Danny Green (tightness, left groin) and Kawhi Leonard (right quadriceps tendinopathy) are probable for tomorrow’s Spurs-Mavericks game. Kyle Anderson (left MCL sprain) is out. pic.twitter.com/ZprpaEbSAX
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 11, 2017
Obviously, the story is Leonard’s “probable” return, being listed as this for the first time since suffering the injury. He’ll join a team that went 19-8 without him, winning their most recent game against the Phoenix Suns.
Without the 26-year-old, LaMarcus Aldridge became the team’s leading scorer and focus on offense. He averaged 22.7 points and 8.1 rebounds, playing 26 of the 27 games.
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Credit can go to Anderson, too. He took Leonard’s starting spot and, before getting hurt, played admirably. He scored 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, all of which were career-highs.
When the UCLA product returns, he’ll likely shift to a bench spot for the first time this season. Leonard should reclaim his starting spot, unless head coach Gregg Popovich chooses to work him into the lineup. Whatever the case may be, look for Rudy Gay to return to his sixth-man role off the bench.
Will someone leave the rotation? It’s possible but won’t be something known until Tuesday’s game plays out. We analyzed the potential candidates to fall out of the rotation.
See Leonard’s return vs. Dallas at 8:30 p.m. ET on FSSW. How will he perform in his first game back?