San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard has partial tear in shoulder

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs charges into Willie Reed #35 of the Los Angeles Clippers at AT&T Center on December 18, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs charges into Willie Reed #35 of the Los Angeles Clippers at AT&T Center on December 18, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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According to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard suffered a partial tear in his left shoulder.

In December, Kawhi Leonard returned from a quad injury that kept him out for the first two months of the season. He played in most of the San Antonio Spurs’ games since, although the team held him out of at least one half of back-to-backs and allowed their star to get two full days of rest before each contest.

On Saturday, the Spurs ruled Leonard “out” vs. the Portland Trail Blazers. It wasn’t due to “return from injury management,” however, as they declared it a “left shoulder strain.”

Well, before Sunday’s Blazers game, head coach Gregg Popovich detailed the “Klaw’s” ailment, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. Leonard has a partial tear in his left shoulder, and Popovich doesn’t know when he will return.

Pop said Kawhi has a partial tear in that shoulder.

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) January 8, 2018

Even though Kawhi Leonard has a partial terse in his shoulder, the team at this point doesn't think it's serious. Team will continue to monitor it over these next few days. He has not yet been ruled out for Thursday in LA against the Lakers.

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) January 8, 2018

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It’s obviously a positive if the team doesn’t think it’s serious. Along with an open status for Thursday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. However, after the month-to-month quad injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see San Antonio cautiously monitor its star’s health, especially as the playoffs are over four months away. Playing him too soon, along with a potential reaggravation, could put Leonard’s season in doubt.

For the imminent future, look for Kyle Anderson to take Leonard’s spot in the starting lineup. This was the case during the quad injury, and should remain this way, as long as the 26-year-old sits on the bench.

It’s an unfortunate situation for the Spurs, who didn’t have Leonard back for a full month. Temporarily, they must revert to a rotation that doesn’t feature him. At least for Sunday’s game, it will also be without Tony Parker and Rudy Gay.

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The Spurs and Blazers will take the court at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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