Kawhi Leonard is medically-cleared to rejoin the San Antonio Spurs on the court from a right quad injury, but has reportedly opted to keep sitting out. Kawhi’s camp has refuted that there’s any sort of rift with the organization.
Head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters Wednesday that he’d be “surprised” if the two-time NBA All-Star suited up again after playing in just 9 games this season.
After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.
Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.
The injury, rehabilitation and timetable for a return has complicated the Spurs and Leonard’s relationship, causing tension and fraying the fabric of what was once a strong partnership, league sources told ESPN. The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.