Sooner rather than later appears to be coming soon. All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard accompanied the Spurs on their two-game road swing that opens tonight in Memphis. He is on the road to complete what coach Gregg Popovich calls “the last steps” in a months-long rehabilitation from a quadriceps injury.
Leonard has played two sessions of 5-on-5, going both halfcourt and full. At shootaround this morning at the FedEx Forum, Leonard practiced with the full team for the first time, Popovich said. “Those are the last steps,” Popovich said. “That’s what Tony (Parker) did before he came back.”
“[Kawhi Leonard is] starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident,” Popovich said. Once Leonard feels well enough to play, the final hurdle will be in lobbying his coach. It took Parker two weeks from the time he felt good enough to go for Popovich to put him on the floor. “When he says, ‘I feel I can go,’ then he’s got to convince me,” Popovich said. “Because I’m going to err on the conservative side. We’ll see. He’s too valuable to bring back early.”
Tom Orsborn: Rudy Gay (sore right heel) has been upgraded to probable for Wednesday's game vs. Memphis after he sat out Monday's win over Dallas, per #Spurs injury report. Kawhi Leonard (right quadriceps tendinopathy) and Derrick White (right wrist fracture) remain out.
Tom Orsborn: Pop with some seemingly good news about Leonard: "He’s getting very close (to playing 5-on-5) and making progress. He’s having contact now and hopefully we will get him back shortly." #Spurs
Michael C. Wright: Pop said he's "probably not gonna consult" with Tony Parker about when Kawhi Leonard will return. Pop did say Kawhi is "very close" and participating in "contact" work.
Parker worked out with Leonard during his rehabilitation process from a torn quadriceps tendon, and said the two-time All-Star is "close" to returning to normal as he recovers from quadriceps tendinopathy. Parker estimated Leonard would return to action "in a couple weeks, three weeks."
"He looked great," Parker said of Leonard. "I was like, 'Oh, he's good. I forgot that he was that good.' Yeah, [he's] close. It's still going to be a process. Still, the Spurs aren't going to take [any] risks. It's still going to be, like I said, a couple of weeks, three weeks. They're not going to take any risks. But he's looking good so far. What he did with me, he's looking good."
Jabari Young: Though Popovich will have the final word, Parker said he could see Kawhi back in about 3 weeks. Asked him how Kawhi looked while practicing with him #Spurs pic.twitter.com/BUVqAEhCdk
Tom Orsborn: Asked about Leonard's status, Ginobili noted that Kawhi is "working hard" but that his injury has been more "rebellious" than Parker's. #Spurs
The Spurs list Kawhi Leonard, who hasn’t played yet this season because of right quadriceps tendinopathy. With the Spurs’ 106-86 win over the Hornets on Saturday night, Leonard has sat out all 19 games this season, one more than he missed the previous two regular seasons combined. Leonard has been sidelined since just before the start of the preseason with what the Spurs are calling right quadriceps tendinopathy. The ailment first showed up last season and has resulted in what Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has termed a “difficult” rehabilitation for the two-time All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year. “They are perplexed by how long it’s taken him to get better,” a source said of the Spurs.
Tom Orsborn: Same old same old for #Spurs injury report vs. Hornets: Leonard, Parker, White remain out.
Leonard needs to advance through a rehabilitation process that comprises several steps, including individual work followed by 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, before he can get full clearance to return to the court. According to sources, Leonard is currently engaged in on-court work but hasn't yet advanced far enough to receive clearance to return. The club is reluctant to offer a specific timeline for Leonard's return because there's a level of unpredictability involved with rehabilitation from quadriceps tendinopathy, a source said.
In a storied career spanning more than 40 years at various levels, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has "never" encountered the quadriceps issue that has kept Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup this entire season. "Never, never," Popovich said when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. "What's really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that's pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys."
Pop just told me he's "never" throughout his entire coaching career come across the issue that Kawhi Leonard is experiencing with his quad. He said "what's weird" is that Tony Parker has essentially the same issue, "a quad tendon, but worse," but Kawhi isn't any closer to returning than TP
Fans should be “cautiously optimistic” Spurs franchise player Kawhi Leonard will return to the court sooner rather than later, as coach Gregg Popovich recently put it, provided his lingering condition hasn’t been diagnosed as chronic, an expert with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City said Tuesday. “I think he’s going to be fine if they are truly saying what is wrong with him,” said Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic sports surgeon who has been in practice more than 20 years. “Usually, it’s just a matter of doing the appropriate type of treatment to get better tissue in that area.”
A Spurs spokesman said Tuesday in a text message there still is “no timeline at this point” for Leonard’s return. Leonard has been sidelined since just before the start of the preseason with what the Spurs say is right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that can cause the tendon to tire from overuse.
“Typically, with rest and physical therapy, they get over it and get back (in action) pretty quickly,” Strickland said. “But with ones that are more chronic, that’s when players tend to have more aggressive treatment, something more evasive than just the rest-and- rehab route, such as platelet rich plasma (therapy), and that can slow them down for a while because you have to allow some time for that to work.” Strickland said, given how long Leonard has been out, that could be the case with him. The Spurs haven’t made Leonard available to the media since the start of training camp.
Tom Orsborn: The usual suspects on the #Spurs injury report for Friday's game with the Bucks: Lauvergne (ankle), Leonard (quad), Parker (quad) and White (wrist).
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich provided an update Tuesday on Kawhi Leonard, who has missed 10 games due to right quadriceps tendinopathy, saying the two-time All-Star forward is "just coming along more slowly" than expected in rehabilitation. "It's just been more difficult for him to get through the rehab routine," Popovich said.
"His body hasn't reacted the same way as Tony's," Popovich said of Leonard. "Tony's at the point where he's been going 5-on-5 and that kind of thing. He's not totally confident. It'll be a few more weeks. But he's definitely going the right direction. And so is Kawhi. It's just taking a little bit longer.
Mike Finger: After listening to Pop, safe to assume Kawhi won’t be returning in the next game or two. Has to build back up same way Parker is now.
Tom Orsborn: Pop on Kawhi's slow progress: "He’s just coming along more slowly, for whatever reason. It’s just been more difficult for him to get through the rehab routine. His body hasn’t reacted the same way."
Manu Ginobili sees a silver lining in the Spurs being forced to play without star forward Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs are 6-4 without Leonard (right quadriceps tendinopathy) heading into Tuesday night’s home game against the Clippers (5-4). “Every time a team has to adjust to playing without its main player, others have to step up and gain confidence, and they end up being better players,” Ginobili said after shootaround Tuesday morning. “I think it is a great thing for guys like Bryn (Forbes), Brandon (Paul), even Kyle (Anderson), because they are having to be more responsible offensively, have more possessions, make more decisions. I think it is going end up being a great thing for the team long term. Short term, we miss him. We need him out there. When he comes back, we are going to have to re-adjust. So it’s going to take a little bit of time. But at this point, it’s making those guys step up and play a bigger role.”
Tom Orsborn: #Spurs rule Lauvergne (ankle), Leonard (quad), Parker (quad) and White (wrist) out for Tuesday's game vs. Clippers.
Paul Garcia: The Spurs announced Joffrey Lauvergne, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker are all out for Sunday's game vs Phoenix with injuries.
When asked if Kawhi Leonard is getting closer to returning to practicing with the team since he’s out with right quadriceps tendinopathy, Popovich didn’t provide many details. “Absolutely,” said Popovich of Leonard getting closer to practicing. “You want a percentage? You want a percentage for each day closer?”
Jeff McDonald: Leonard, Parker and Lauvergne all out for tomorrow's afternoon tilt in Indy. No surprises to the injury report.
Paul Garcia: The Spurs just announced Lauvergne, Kawhi and Parker will be out vs the Magic Friday. They did not travel with the team to Orlando.
RJ Marquez: #Spurs announce Lauvergne (sprained ankle) out for game at Miami. Kawhi still OUT (quad injury). Did not travel w/team #KSATnews #KSATsports
Jeff McDonald: Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker traveled with the Spurs to Chicago, but not expected to play tomorrow vs. Bulls. Out with injury.
All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard is not expected to play in Wednesday’s season opener against Minnesota at the AT&T Center, coach Gregg Popovich said Friday. “He won’t be available,” Popovich said before the Spurs’ preseason finale against Houston.
Popovich said there remains no timetable for Leonard’s return, even beyond Wednesday’s opener. “I don’t gauge it,” Popovich said. “He’s still rehabbing and when he’s ready, he’ll be ready. I try not to qualify it.”
Paul Garcia: The Spurs also just announced Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker are both out for Friday's preseason finale at Houston due to injury.
"For sure, it's not I'm saying we should hurry things up," Ginobili said. "We all wish to be healthy all the time, and it doesn't happen like that. So, not having [Leonard] and Tony, it's important, or Rudy. Rudy is practicing. He's almost ready. But he's still cautious, and he's been out for seven months. So he's going to take his time, too."
Leonard didn’t participate in Saturday’s Silver & Black scrimmage at the AT&T Center. Afterward, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich revealed Leonard’s injury is left over from last season and that he has been rehabbing it all summer. “It’s gone a little more slowly than we thought,” Popovich said.
With Leonard out after one week of training camp, the Spurs will start the preseason without two starters. Point guard Tony Parker is also sidelined while continuing to recover from surgery to repair the ruptured left quadriceps tendon he suffered in the Western Conference semifinals against Houston last spring. “Rehab buddies,” Popovich called Leonard and Parker.
“A timeline for his return to the court will be determined at a later date,” the Spurs said in a press release.
Kawhi Leonard spent time in Beijing today with the Chinese media. Here's what Leonard had to say about how he's preparing for the upcoming season: "Everyone saw how it ended. [The offseason] started off slow, just rehabbing, getting back 100 percent. But obviously, just everything like I say every year. Just come back a better player, better man, better leader, and just work on my game.”
Kawhi Leonard is back in action. Sort of. Not quite a full month after his sprained left ankle knocked the Spurs star from the Western Conference finals, Leonard has returned to physical activity. The rehabilitation process, under the guidance of the Spurs’ medical staff, has been cautious by design. Leonard has not commenced what might be considered full basketball activity, which is not unusual for this point on the calendar. “He’s done some training, but I don’t think anybody’s pushing him to get back on the floor this time of year,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said Monday. “It’s a good time, emotionally and physically, to take a break.”
With rest and rehab, Kawhi Leonard should fully recover from the sprained left ankle that sidelined him for most of the West finals, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich indicated Tuesday. Leonard missed the final three games of the series with Golden State after reinjuring his ankle in Game 1. “Obviously, he’s not going to do anything on it, and they’ll start rehabbing and doing what they need to do,” Popovich said. “He’s certainly not in Tony (Parker) or David (Lee’s) situation, that’s for sure.”
Chris Haynes: Kawhi Leonard (ankle) will miss his third consecutive game tonight when Spurs host Warriors for Game 4 of WCF.
On the brink of elimination, the San Antonio Spurs will likely have to play Game 4 of the Western Conference finals without MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, coach Gregg Popovich said. Popovich told reporters that Leonard is "likely out" Monday with his injured left ankle suffered in the series opener.
Leonard did not participate in Thursday's workout, but multiple players said they saw the forward at the club's practice facility. "He was sitting nicely on the sidelines. It's going well, as well as it can go," center Pau Gasol said. "We have a good training staff. He's working with them, and trying to get that ankle right. That's what I know."
Jeff McDonald: Sounds like Kawhi Leonard was in the practice facility today but didn't do much, if anything, on the court.
Juan Vazquez isn't letting go quite so easily. Vazquez on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Pachulia and the Warriors on behalf of Spurs season ticket holders and San Antonio card shop What's On Second. "All we are asking from the court is that this type of behavior, that can and does cause serious injury to our team and those that love it, not be allowed in San Antonio," said Alfonso Kennard, Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
Tom Orsborn: Pop on listing Kawhi as questionable for Game 3: "The thing that worries me is he did it again (to his left ankle), the exact same thing."
Ben Golliver: Gregg Popovich says Kawhi Leonard (ankle) is out for Game 2 and questionable in advance of Game 3. "We won't know until Friday or Saturday"
"The thing is, now I've seen all the stuff going around on social (media) and all the things people are saying, and a lot of it involves me," Bowen said. "Well, I used to hate it when people called me dirty. I thought it was unfair when people just piggyback on what other people say. And I still do."
"What was his intent?" Bowen said. "You can rewind something five times and convince yourself of anything. What I saw, he kept moving in that direction after he contested the shot. You know you have to let a player come down. He kept walking into that space, so, for me, that says more about the intent."
Bowen believes he knows how he would have been disciplined had he been reviewed for such a play. "I don't know what is going to happen to Zaza," Bowen said, "but if that had been me, I know what would have happened: suspension."
“It’s going to be tough,” Aldridge said of the loss of Leonard. “He’s our leading scorer and our go-to guy, but guys have to step up and try to take some of that load and try to be better out there. It’s about defense right now. We’ve got to play better defense and make less mistakes, and we’ll be good.”
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford told The Undefeated, “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to play with who we have.”
“If you take an MVP candidate off of most teams, they’re going to struggle,” Warriors forward Draymond Green told The Undefeated. “The Spurs are one of those teams that still continues to stay in the game, they still make plays to give themselves a chance to win. They are one of the few teams in this league who can lose an MVP candidate and it’s business as usual.”
Jorge Sierra: We reached out to a bunch of NBA players for their take on the Pachulia-Leonard play. This is what they answered…
"My approach to this game for 14 years that I've been in the league is to play hard and [give] 100 percent of whatever I have," Pachulia said in response to Popovich on Monday after practice. "So, I don't agree with the calls that I'm a dirty player. I'm not a dirty player. I love this game and I'm playing hard. That's what I was taught since Day 1."
Warriors center Zaza Pachulia sidestepped the controversy over his role in Kawhi Leonard’s injury Monday, after Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich ripped Pachulia for the incident and called him a dirty player throughout his career. “No response,” Pachulia said after his team’s practice in Oakland. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Pop and their organization, and I mean it. No comment and no response. Let’s focus on Game 2, honestly.”
May 20, 2022 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive teams: First team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart Second team: Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Matisse Thybulle, Robert Williams III
Bobby Marks: Robert Williams has a $223,215 bonus as part of his rookie extension. However, because Williams is still in the fourth year of his rookie scale contract, the bonus is not earned. The bonus is now deemed likely and his cap hit for 2022-23 is adjusted to $10,937,502.
Melissa Rohlin: Gary Payton II (fractured left elbow) has started to do various light individual on-court activities and will be re-evaluated in one week. Andre Iguodala (disc injury in his neck) continues to show progress and an update will come when he’s cleared to practice.
May 20, 2022 | 7:27 pm EDT Update
The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said.