San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard, Gregg Popovich to meet before return
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Before Kawhi Leonard returns for the San Antonio Spurs, head coach Gregg Popovich said the two will meet to discuss the situation.
The San Antonio Spurs might get Kawhi Leonard back as early as Thursday, according to ESPN’s Lisa Salters. This would almost be two months to the date that Leonard last played and mark just his tenth game this season, due to quad and shoulder injuries.
The Spurs never confirmed when Leonard will return, but head coach Gregg Popovich clarified the situation Monday. He told Tom Orsborn of MySanAntonio.com (h/t Sporting News) that a meeting with the team’s star will take place Tuesday, to discuss how ready he is to come back:
“I’ll see Kawhi tomorrow and we’ll see how he’s feeling and see how ready he is and see how ready I think he is, and we will go from there.”
Orsborn also noted Leonard could return as early as Tuesday’s game vs. the Orlando Magic.
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Without Leonard, the Spurs slipped to No. 10 in the Western Conference. That’s after three consecutive losses on all three games of their road trip: vs. the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. The Warriors game was the closest of the bunch, while matchups vs. Oklahoma City and Houston had wide margins.
15 games remain for Leonard’s return. 14 if he does not step onto the court until Thursday. 13 if it gets pushed to Saturday, Mar. 17. At some point it’s too little, too late for the Spurs. While the gap between No. 4 and 10 is just two games, a difficult schedule might hinder them from finding security in the standings, and each game San Antonio plays without the former MVP candidate and the dinged up LaMarcus Aldridge, it narrows the margin for error. How much of an impact can be made in less than a quarter of the season while barely playing before this?
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When will the Spurs get Leonard back? Let’s find out,