As Kawhi Leonard nears a return from a nagging quadriceps injury, the San Antonio Spurs reportedly considered activating him for last night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, according to Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News.
Head coach Gregg Popovich joked with his usual sarcasm prior to the game, as the local media did its usual due diligence of asking for an update on his impending return.
“I know there is a guy around here someplace I’m missing,” Popovich joked. “I keep looking for him.”
“If I had your job, I’d be asking all the time, too. I think people would like to see him play. He’s a pretty unique dude. And, you know, he wants to get back. He doesn’t want to be sitting there.”
Yet that unique dude seems to be closer to a return than most expect, as Kawhi Leonard could be suiting up for the first time this season by week’s end.
“Although he did not elaborate, a return to game action is expected by the end of this week,” Finger wrote. “A source with knowledge of the situation said the coaching staff discussed the possibility of bringing him back as early as Monday’s game against the Pistons, but decided that waiting a few extra days wouldn’t hurt.”
The Spurs star spoke to reporters for the first time this season, a sign that enough progress has been made for him to warm up to his media duties.
“Me not being able to play the game was a little frustrating, but my team’s doing a great job holding their own,” Leonard said. “A lot of people stepped up in the process and it’s going to be great for us in the long run.”
The Spurs took down a tough challenge from the Detroit Pistons, moving to 16-8 on the season and a crisp third place in the Western Conference. Not too shabby for a team missing its catalyst. AP