San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard’s ‘group’ will determine return

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 6: Gregg Popovich coaches Kawhi Leonard
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 6: Gregg Popovich coaches Kawhi Leonard /

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told the media, Kawhi Leonard’s “group” will determine when he returns to the court.

For all but nine games this season, the San Antonio Spurs did not have Kawhi Leonard available while rehabbing a right quadriceps injury. It happened before the preseason started, continued for the first two months of the campaign, dropped off upon return and resulted in another injury stint starting on Jan. 15.

Part of Leonard’s rehab took place away from the Spurs, something that’s an ongoing situation. He went back to New York to continue this, with no timetable for his return to the team.

Before Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich discussed his star player’s potential return, but did not offer optimism. He left it to Leonard’s “group” to decide, according to

“I don’t know when he’s going to feel, he and his group are going to feel like they’re ready to go,” Popovich said Sunday before a game against Houston. “If I knew, he’d be here. When he and his group feel he’s ready, he’ll be ready.”

Given these comments, Popovich might know as much as the rest of us on Leonard’s comeback. It’s whenever the people closest to the former MVP candidate decides he’s ready, whenever that may be. As long as his rehab happens in New York, that could be days, weeks or months and last until the start of the 2018-19 season, for all anyone may know since this quad injury remains a mystery to the public. The severity never became public, either. Although Tony Parker called his quad ailment “100 times worse.” That was the closest anyone learned of it.

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With just five games left in the 2017-18 season, it seems unlikely that San Antonio gets Leonard back. That might rule out the playoffs, as well, which means Spurs fans must wait until the 2018-19 season, unless an offseason transaction takes place.