Spurs, Kawhi Leonard reportedly collaborated on injury rehab
By Rob Wolkenbrod
As the circumstances around Kawhi Leonard’s injury status with the San Antonio Spurs remain in flux, this latest report from Yahoo Sports indicates otherwise.
From Kawhi Leonard absence at Game 1 and 2 to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s comments on LaMarcus Aldridge that were bent sideways, publicly this situation has taken multiple turns over the past week. Add in the Sacramento Bee report that chronicled Leonard’s poor communication with the organization, and this saga seemed destined for disaster in the offseason.
However, might the Spurs and their superstar be on the same page after all? According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, that is the case (h/t NBC Sports).
Leonard and the Spurs medical staff agreed to, and collaborated on, his injury rehab. It’s “not a player gone rogue.”
“League sources tell me that his doctors and the Spurs medical staff agree to his current rehab program in New York. Both sides collaborated to any decision with his injured right quad. Not a player gone rogue.”
Video Essay on Kawhi Leonard and why the San Antonio Spurs star remains sidelined: pic.twitter.com/KAT0UWBXtI
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 16, 2018
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This only piles onto the media attention that Leonard and the organization have received in the season’s second half. It contrasts the aforementioned reports of poor communication, with the player not responding to the franchise’s messages for “weeks” at a time. Add Popovich’s comments to the media, and it makes this head-scratching.
Of course, it’s difficult to speculate on any of this when Popovich’s statements have not provided clarity, along with Leonard’s avoidance of the media for most of the season. Once someone from either party speaks publicly and addresses this saga hands-on, similar to the breakdown with LaMarcus Aldridge from the 2017 offseason, then it can go away and everyone moves. That’s not so simple, though, with this taking up most of the 2017-18 season and a supermax extension on the way for the 26-year old.
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Who knows where this situation goes next. It will probably receive more discussion on Thursday, April 19, when the Spurs return home for Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors. Especially if everyone points a finger at Leonard’s absence on the bench.