by Matt George – Sports 1140 KHTK
Just over a month after making his season debut for the San Antonio Spurs, two time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard finds himself back on the injury list because of further issues with his right leg. This time, the Spurs have announced that they are shutting their star down “for an indefinite period of time”.
Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season because of an issue with his leg diagnosed as “right quadriceps tendinopathy”, a disorder that could result in chronic tendinitis usually caused by an early injury that didn’t heal properly.
On January 5th, Leonard also suffered a partial tear in his left shoulder during a game against the Phoenix Suns. On Saturday, he returned from that injury with a comfortable 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in 28 minutes.
During warmups before Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, Leonard told head coach Gregg Popovich that he “didn’t feel right”, resulting in Pop holding him out of the game for more rest. However, this morning, before the Spurs’ matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, things appear to have gotten worse.
“It hasn’t responded the way we wanted it to,” Popovich told members of the media today during shootaround, “He’s given it a shot. He’s frustrated as hell. He wants to play badly. But if we’re going to err, we’re going to do it on the side of health and being wise. It just hasn’t gone as well as we’ve wanted it to. So we’re going to stop him for an indefinite period – I don’t know how long that will be – to get more strength and hopefully get him back on the court.”
Considered to be the star and future of arguably the most stable and consistent franchise in all of professional sports, Leonard has teammates, coaches, trainers, and fans rightfully concerned. However, the Spurs continue to do what they do, even without their star, currently in 3rd place of a very talented Western Conference.
San Antonio looks for win number 30 tonight in the Barclays Center at 4:30 pacific time.