San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard’s playoff status still up to ‘his group’

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 confirmed Kawhi Leonard remains away from the team and it’s up to “the group” to decide.

Kawhi Leonard missed all but nine games this season for the San Antonio Spurs. It stemmed from a mysterious quadriceps injury that happened before the preseason. The organization never announced its severity, when or how it occurred, but it was enough to sideline the former NBA MVP candidate for most of the 2017-18 campaign.

The last update on Leonard saw him in New York for injury rehab. No return timetable was given for this in March as the season closed and the Spurs entered the playoffs.

Well, as of April 15, Leonard remains away. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich confirmed this on Sunday, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (h/t Bleacher Report). He said, “You’ll have to ask Kawhi and his group that question.”

Any chance Kawhi rejoins the team during the series, Pop? Pop: "You'll have to ask Kawhi and his group that question."

— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) April 15, 2018

This oft-mentioned group may know more than the Spurs organization and have their own thought process on Leonard’s injury, so it’s anyone’s guess when a return will happen. With the playoffs already here, it’s difficult to think it happens in the first round, or at all, since he has not played for three months.

The Silver and Black started a series against the Golden State Warriors, who don’t have one of their star players available, Stephen Curry. However, a lopsided game unfolded and San Antonio never stood a chance with Klay Thompson’s red-hot shooting and Kevin Durant’s stellar performance. So, unless there’s a stunning announcement on Game 2’s injury report, do not expect Leonard to come back and impact this series.

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The San Diego State product might have played his last game for the Spurs, too. Teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers, will line up for his services this offseason and make it a dramatic one for an organization that usually avoids controversy. How will this develop in a matter of weeks?