Kawhi Leonard Reportedly Could Return from Quad Injury Thursday vs. Pelicans


Leonard, the former two-time Defensive Player of the Year, hasn't played a game since the Spurs' 12-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets on January 13.

But it's not just the injuries themselves that have been weird, but rather all the speculation and changing statuses that have come with them.

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At this point, the Spurs aren't a guarantee for the playoffs. It wasn't long ago that head coach Gregg Popovich said he wouldn't be surprised if Leonard didn't return at all this season. More information regarding his return should surface during the week, although barring any setbacks, Leonard is expected in the lineup against the Pelicans.

If Leonard were able to return during the week, that would give him a month to readjust to the Spurs before the playoffs.

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The Thunder held LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs' key man in the absence of Leonard, to 11 points on five-of-16 shooting as the Spurs (37-29) recorded a losing road record for the first time in 21 seasons.

But Leonard disputed those reports last week, asserting that he said he and the Spurs had always been on the same page during his rehab and that he "for sure" hoped to finish his career in San Antonio. He is a two-time victor (2015 and 2016) of the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award. He played nine games before the team made a decision to shut him down indefinitely on January 17 due to concerns about the way his quad was healing. Although San Antonio has been pretty terrible of late, they'll certainly be a team to keep a close eye on now with Kawhi Leonard likely set to return on Thursday.

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