San Antonio Spurs Rumors
Popovich and sources within the organization have long maintained that the team will continue to err on the side of caution when it comes to Leonard’s injury. It’s expected the club will offer the forward a max contract extension worth more than $200 million over the summer. Leonard stepped away to focus on rehabbing the injured quad after a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended on Jan. 13.
“He is not coming back,” veteran guard Manu Ginobili said. “For me, he’s not coming back because it’s not helping [to think Leonard is returning]. We fell for it a week ago again. I guess you guys made us fall for it. But we have to think that he’s not coming back, that we are who we are, and that we got to fight without him. That shouldn’t be changing, at least until he is ready for the jungle.” Sources told ESPN that Leonard’s target date to return from the quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out for all but nine games this season has always been “mid-March.” But the team continues to list him as out on its official injury report as a component of what it calls “return-from-injury management.”
Tom Orsborn: Mills said Leonard has made it clear to his teammates that he has “taken control of what he can rehab-wise and injury-prevention-wise” and is “doing all he can get back on the floor. And we trust him in that.” #Spurs
Tom Orsborn: Manu says his mindset toward Kawhi hasn’t changed: “For me, he’s not coming back, because (thinking he is) is not helping. We fell for it a week ago – again. I guess you guys (media) made us fall for it. But we have to think that he’s not coming back. That we are who we are.”
Michael C. Wright: Official update: Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) is out for tomorrow’s Spurs-WIzards game.
Still, there was no downplaying Ginobili’s overall contribution to the victory. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 22 minutes. “He inspires everybody,” Green said of Ginobili. “When a 40 year old can go out there and take charges (against Davis) and throws his body out there and lays his life on the line for this team, it inspires the young guys to want to do the same thing, to do it the way he does. Nobody competes like Manu.”