MARCH 13, 2:16pm: Leonard is expected to remain on the shelf through Thursday’s game, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who tweets that the Spurs and their star forward will continue evaluating his quad injury in hopes of a return.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne adds (via Twitter) that Leonard is feeling “much better” and remains optimistic that he’ll be able to play before the end of the regular season. Shelburne confirms that Kawhi won’t play on Thursday vs. New Orleans.
A lingering quad injury has sidelined Leonard for all but nine games this season. He recently said that he has been working toward a comeback and expects to return to the court “soon.” His workouts have included riding a stationary bike and participating in three-on-three drills at practice. However, those drills have been against staff members rather than players.
Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, is coming off a season in which he finished third in the MVP voting and scored a career-high 25.5 points per game. His presence will be a welcome boost to a Spurs team that is suddenly fighting for a playoff spot, just a game and a half ahead of the ninth-place Nuggets and Jazz coming into tonight’s action.