Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio Spurs out indefinitely with quad injury

9:53 PM ET

  • CloseESPN Staff Writer
    • Covers a New York Knicks for ESPNNewYork.com
  • CloseESPN Staff Writer
    • Joined ESPN in 2010
    • Previously lonesome Bears for ESPN.com
    • Played college football during West Texas AM

The San Antonio Spurs will reason All-Star brazen Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely due to slow pain from a quadriceps damage that caused him to skip a initial 27 games of a season.

“He didn’t re-injure it or anything. But we know he was carrying pain, not right after games yet maybe a subsequent day,” Spurs manager Gregg Popovich pronounced Wednesday. “… The pain wasn’t dissipating, it wasn’t going in a right direction, it was going a other way.”

Popovich fast discharged a thought that Leonard could be out for a residue of a deteriorate due to a tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Popovich described a Spurs’ preference to lay Leonard as “conservative.”

“You’ve got to be assured in your physique to go out there and play during a turn that he’s approaching to play,” a manager said. “… We didn’t feel he was ready, his certainty turn wasn’t there, so we usually motionless to give it some some-more time.”

The Spurs primarily announced during training stay that Leonard would skip a preseason given of a quadriceps issue, yet a liberation routine lingered into December, with Popovich revelation in Nov that a brazen was “coming along some-more slowly” in reconstruction than a bar had hoped.

The two-time NBA Defensive Player of a Year has seemed in usually 9 games this deteriorate as a Spurs have limited his personification time to safeguard a full liberation from a condition that causes pain and debility in a knee.

Despite personification usually 23.3 mins per game, a 26-year-old Leonard is averaging 16.2 points. Entering Wednesday’s diversion opposite Brooklyn, San Antonio was 24-12 yet Leonard.

Popovich acknowledged, though, that carrying Leonard in and out of a lineup has impacted San Antonio’s ability to settle a rhythm.

“It’s a terrible situation. It’s bad,” a manager said. “When a players demeanour right and left they don’t know who’s going to be there from night to night. And it’s tough to get a stroke and get a upsurge to a diversion for sure. … To play with a large boys, you’ve got to have all of your guys. So we got to get them prepared if we consider we’re going to have anything to do with a finish of a season.

“We’ve got to get them behind and get in that rhythm.”

With Leonard out of action, fourth-year maestro Kyle Anderson changed into a starting lineup and took advantage of a additional minutes, forcing Popovich to acknowledge Anderson needs to be on a building more, even when Leonard is behind in a rotation.

Anderson will lapse to a starting lineup with Leonard out indefinitely. The bar will also expected gaunt some-more on Aldridge in Leonard’s absence.

Aldridge has averaged 34.1 mins and 18.0 margin idea attempts given a commencement of December, and it’s rarely doubtful a Spurs will extent a energy forward’s mins relocating forward. Aldridge told ESPN that during a heart-to-heart sit-down contention with Popovich over a summer, he indeed asked a manager for some-more mins this season.

“I consider I’ve always been means to do it. we don’t wish to sound arrogant. we consider that’s who I’ve been,” Aldridge said. “I consider carrying a speak with Pop helped it happen. Having a talk, and revelation him we play improved when I’m personification some-more minutes, and maybe we can try to find opposite ways for anticipating rest.

“I onslaught with personification low minutes, and perplexing to keep a rhythm. I’ve usually never been means to do it. When we was unequivocally rolling in Portland, we was tip 5 in mins each season. So that’s kind of who I’ve become. So, we consider Pop accepted that, and he’s vouchsafing me play some-more minutes. We’ve all kind of enjoyed how I’ve come along personification some-more minutes. I’m staying in good shape. I’m feeling good. My stroke is better. Being out there more, this is usually me.”

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