It sure sounds like Kawhi Leonard won't be back this season

It sure sounds like Kawhi Leonard won't be back this season

The Spurs are preparing to play the rest of the season without forward Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said.

However, the Spurs played just nine games with Leonard before he was sidelined indefinitely due to a quad injury.

Leonard spent 10 days in NY prior to the All-Star break consulting with a specialist for a second opinion on the injury, according to the report.

Kawhi Leonard made his season debut on 12 December but has played only eight games since.

The #San Antonio Spurs are expected to challenge the Golden State Warriors this season, with #Kawhi Leonard leading the way. In the aftermath of Tim Duncan's retirement, the Spurs anointed Leonard as the new face of the franchise. Semantics matter here and Pop said he'd be surprised if Kawhi came back at any point this year, but didn't say he's not going to.

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"There are only X number of games left in the season and he's still not ready to go", added Popovich, whose remarks were posted on After all, rumors have sprouted that Leonard wants to leave the Spurs, and doesn't feel they will properly surround him with talent for a championship. And if by some chance he is, it's going to be pretty late in the season, and it'll be a tough decision, how late you can bring somebody back. Leonard, a former two-time Defensive Player of the Year and one-time NBA Finals MVP, played a grand total of nine games in the season, the last one against the Denver Nuggets on January 13.

- Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) February 21, 2018Pop said "we've got to move on" regarding Kawhi and the fact the Spurs have played majority of the season without him.

Popovich said he expects the superstar forward to miss the entire 2017-18 season.

It's turned into a messy situation for the former Finals MVP and the team and we surely haven't heard the last of this mysterious saga. "We've got to do what we can to be the best team possible". San Antonio is 35-24 and holding the third seed in the Western playoff chase. Kawhi has rounded himself out to be one of the five best players in the league during his seven seasons in the National Basketball Association, but above all, he is still very much known for being the best shutdown defensive player in the league; just ask LeBron James.

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