The San Antonio Spurs will hold All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely due to lingering pain from a quadriceps injury that caused him to miss the first 27 games of the season.
“He didn’t re-injure it or anything. But you know he was having pain, not right after games but maybe the next day,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Wednesday. “… The pain wasn’t dissipating; it wasn’t going in the right direction, it was going the other way.”
Popovich quickly dismissed the idea that Leonard could be out for the remainder of the season due to the tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Popovich described the Spurs’ decision to sit Leonard as “conservative.”
“You’ve got to be confident in your body to go out there and play at the level that he’s expected to play,” the coach said. “… We didn’t feel he was ready; his confidence level wasn’t there, so we just decided to give it some more time.”
The Spurs initially announced during training camp that Leonard would miss the preseason because of the quadriceps issue, but the recovery process lingered into December, with Popovich admitting in November that the forward was “coming along more slowly” in rehabilitation than the club had hoped.
The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has appeared in just nine games this season, as the Spurs have restricted his playing time to ensure a full recovery from the condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee.
Chris Paul Says He’ll Pay Green’s Fine for Shove, Ejection
Chris Paul says he will pay any fine that results from teammate Gerald Green shoving Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 129-120 win Sunday night.
Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul.
Celtics’ Smart (Thumb) Confident He’ll be Back for Playoffs
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he’s confident he’ll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week.
Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN