Sooner rather than later appears to be coming soon.
All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard accompanied the Spurs on their two-game road swing that opens tonight in Memphis. He is on the road to complete what coach Gregg Popovich calls “the last steps” in a months-long rehabilitation from a quadriceps injury.
Leonard has played two sessions of 5-on-5, going both halfcourt and full. At shootaround this morning at the FedEx Forum, Leonard practiced with the full team for the first time, Popovich said.
“Those are the last steps,” Popovich said. “That’s what Tony (Parker) did before he came back.”
Parker has played in two games since returning from a torn quadriceps tendon suffered in last season’s playoffs. Leonard, the Spurs’ leading scorer and top defender, has yet to play due to lingering teninopathy in his quad.
The team has announced no specific target date for Leonard’s return. Popovich has repeated “sooner rather than later” so often it is beginning to sound like a mantra. Yet it is clear from Leonard’s place in the rehab process that his 2017-18 debut is growing near.
“He’s starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident,” Popovich said.
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