Gregg Popovich confirms Kawhi Leonard will make deteriorate entrance opposite Mavericks

2:53 PM ET

DALLAS — San Antonio Spurs manager Gregg Popovich spoke succinctly Tuesday afternoon in announcing that star brazen Kawhi Leonard will make his deteriorate entrance opposite a Dallas Mavericks.

“Kawhi is behind tonight,” Popovich said.

San Antonio skeleton to hoop Leonard’s entrance likewise to how it brought behind Tony Parker, who was returning from a ruptured quadriceps tendon when he rejoined a lineup on Nov. 27 opposite Dallas. In that outing, Parker played only 14 minutes, though a Spurs have gradually increasing a indicate guard’s workload.

The right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept Leonard out of all 27 of a club’s games so distant this deteriorate isn’t as poignant of an damage as what Parker suffered, though San Antonio’s gusto for counsel will remain.

Popovich said, “right, right” when asked if he designed to extent Leonard’s minutes.

“Any organisation would like to have one of their best players back. That’s sincerely logical,” Popovich said. “The team’s been personification well. We wish that it’ll continue as Tony and Kawhi get some-more minutes. There will be adjustments all a approach around. Minutes will be opposite for opposite players. Just typical, it’s not that complicated.”

The Spurs (19-8) creatively targeted Saturday’s diversion during Phoenix as a intensity entrance for Leonard, though sources explained that a brazen indispensable “a confederate some-more days” of liberation time.

Leonard alluded to his tentative lapse final week, saying, “soon to come.”

In November, Popovich certified he would have some “figuring out to do” once Leonard rejoins a lineup.

“No, we don’t compensate any courtesy to that,” Popovich joked Tuesday. “C’mon man. C’mon. I’ve told we a thousand times, coaches are ill puppies. We’re always disturbed about stuff, meditative about stuff, and perplexing to figure out forward of time what competence go wrong, what we can do to be better. Every manager goes by that.”

But each actor doesn’t continue a form of layoff Leonard experienced, as he hasn’t played in a diversion given May 14. Combine that with a fact Leonard still hasn’t nonetheless taken partial in a loyal use with a whole team, and we have a mixture for what maestro ensure Manu Ginobili calls “a mystery.”

“We are going to see how he reacts to carrying singular mins to palliate behind into a game,” Ginobili said. “For us, given of what we have been doing for 27 games and now carrying to readjust, we consider we are both going to have to work tough to make this transition seamless.

“He is means adequate to only start strong. [But] he has never been by a seven-month duration but play. He hasn’t used once with a team. We haven’t used in a month. We haven’t scrimmaged in a prolonged time. He’s practicing a lot with a guys who don’t play much, or a video guys, things like that. But not with a team, full scrimmage.”

A two-time NBA All-Star, Leonard constructed career highs in scoring (25.5-point average) and assists (3.5) final season, while also logging 1.8 steals per outing.

But Leonard hasn’t played a diversion for San Antonio given Game 1 of a Western Conference finals. He missed many of that array given of a sprained ankle.

As partial of a liberation from quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard has worked by a reconstruction routine comprised of several steps, that enclosed particular work, 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, before he perceived clearway to practice. Leonard had been operative out with Parker during a liberation routine — as he rehabbed his damage — as good as former Spurs players Matt Bonner and Tim Duncan.

Now a organisation knows it needs to fast figure out how to confederate a many gifted contributor.

“This is a organisation that has played together for a entertain of a season, and it’ll be on everybody to figure out how to play good together [when Leonard returns],” ubiquitous manager R.C. Buford told ESPN. “We’ll all need to learn how to play together differently. we don’t consider that there’s trepidation. That’s only partial of organisation building, flourishing as a team.”

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