“He’s inching closer all the time,” Carlisle said. “Again, there’s no setbacks that I’m aware of. He hasn’t participated in live practice, per se. There’s been simulated live situations — stuff with coaches where you have a defender or an offensive player. But it’s very set up so as not to create risk. But he’s working at it. He wants to be back. But it’s just got to happen at the right time.”
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will be sidelined for an “indefinite period of time,” the club announced today (Twitter link). According to the team’s announcement, Leonard is still battling right quadriceps tendinopathy and will focus on rehabbing that injury.
In a statement, Spurs GM R.C. Buford said that Leonard “continues to move forward in his rehabilitation.” Meanwhile, head coach Gregg Popovich tells Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News that the injury “hasn’t responded the way we wanted it to.”
“He’s given it a shot,” Popovich said of his star player. “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.”
After sitting out for nearly two months to start the season due to his quad injury, Leonard returned to action on December 12. He has missed several games since then though, never playing with less than two days rest. Even when he has been on the floor, the 26-year-old hasn’t been his usual dominant self — his .468 FG% and .314 3PT% are career lows, albeit in a small sample (nine games).
With Leonard out, Kyle Anderson will continue to see the majority of the minutes at the three for San Antonio. Rudy Gay will also help fortify the Spurs’ forward rotation once he gets healthy, while Danny Green and Manu Ginobili could also play small forward in certain lineups. However, according to McDonald, Gay is still a couple weeks away from returning and Ginobili is expected to miss the Spurs’ next two games with a thigh contusion.