San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard not cleared for return

Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played basketball since May and there is no word on when the San Antonio Spurs small forward will hit the court again.

The San Antonio Spurs will start the 2017-18 regular season in the same position they ended the 2017 playoffs. Without Kawhi Leonard.

The news comes via Gregg Popovich, who told reporters prior to Friday’s preseason finale that Leonard “won’t be available” for Wednesday’s season opener against Minnesota.

The more concerning news for Spurs fans is that there is no timetable for Leonard’s return. He’s currently dealing with tendinopathy in his left quadriceps. He has been rehabbing at the Spurs training facility, but has yet to practice with the team during training camp and preseason.

The San Antonio All-Star was last seen in action during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

It was in that game that Leonard suffered a quad injury after landing on the foot of Warriors center Zaza Pachulia. Leonard sat on the sidelines for the final three games of what turned out to be a four game sweep for Golden State.

Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 5.8 rebounds last season, emerging as an MVP candidate on a Spurs team that finished second in the West. Despite being a key component in Popovich’s system, San Antonio fared well without their All-Star.

The Spurs went 7-1 during the regular season when Leonard didn’t suit up. They’re 14-4 over the last two regular seasons without Leonard.

Kyle Anderson is expected to start in Leonard’s place during his absence.

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