External optimism had built for Leonard's potential return this week, but he is expected to be remain out and will continue to evaluate his injury for a possible comeback before the season ends, league sources said.
Even after he's cleared by his medical staff, Leonard will have a sitdown with Popovich. He played nine games before the team made a decision to shut him down indefinitely on January 17 due to concerns about the way his quad was healing. That said, we're coming down to crunch time. "But that clearance has to be obtained first".
Leonard has been battling with the injury even before the NBA's 2017-18 season started. It's not the game or the playoffs or this or that. They understand the situation that I'm in. "We don't know. But his career is going to be paramount in our thinking as we make a decision".
Leonard has now been ruled out for the home game against the New Orleans Pelicans after already being ruled out of the Tuesday's night game against the Orlando Magic at the AT&T Center, per Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN.com.
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While there is no firm date for Leonard's return, unidentified sources had indicated he could play Friday against the Pelicans. They lost for the fifth time in six games as they fight for a playoff spot.
When told by a reporter it was from "articles" and ESPN, Popovich said: "I rest my case". There are a group of specialists based in NY that Kawhi is working with, and, apparently, those are the doctors that will determine when Leonard is cleared to return to game action.
If such holds true, suddenly the Spurs, who have plummeted down the standings as one of the coldest teams in the league after losing eight of their last ten, will get a whole lot more intimidating. You heard it from other media outlets.