The San Antonio Spurs will wait a while longer for Kawhi Leonard’s return, whenever it may be.
At this point, it’s no secret that Kawhi Leonard works with his own training staff, not the one the San Antonio Spurs provide. It’s impossible to speculate how much these staffs work together to aid Leonard’s return to the court, but given all the reports of the past six weeks maybe these sides have not worked cohesively.
Leonard was expected to return in March, but the month is halfway over and the season only has 12 games after Saturday’s matchup vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. At some point, it will be too late for a comeback, postseason or not, since he would need to work back into full-time minutes and change the Spurs’ look of all but nine games. Of course, the former MVP candidate is considered the star of this team, so could the Spurs bypass any potential roadblocks or issues and throw him into the lineup?
None of this will come into play until Leonard gets cleared. According to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, head coach Gregg Popovich said before Saturday’s game, Leonard has not been cleared by his medical personnel.
Asked if Leonard could play in the playoffs without having returned during the regular season, Pop said, "I don’t speculate on any of thatstuff." He also said that as of this point, Kawhi has not been cleared by his own medical people to return. #Spurs
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) March 17, 2018
With the next game set for Monday, unless Leonard’s medical team clears him within the next 24 hours, it’s hard to see him being ready to face the Golden State Warriors. Wednesday, Mar. 21, will be the next matchup, against the Washington Wizards. Could the “Klaw” be cleared for this?
Unless someone from the Spurs speaks, it’s all speculation about Leonard’s mysterious quad injury. However, it’s late in the season and time’s running out for clearance. It may very well be the 2018-19 season that fans see the 26-year old on the court next. After that, he will hit free agency on July 1, 2019. The clock is ticking.