Gregg Popovich likes Kawhi Leonard's progress in return to lethal form

Popovich Reveals New Kawhi Leonard Injury Day Before Kings Face Spurs

Associated Press Popovich reveals new Kawhi Leonard injury day before Kings face Spurs

Kawhi Leonard suffered a sprained ankle in last year's playoffs.

But Leonard missed Sunday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers with what was reported to be a left shoulder strain, and he's now in line to miss some time with a partial tear in his shoulder.

Leonard has only played in eight games this season, having returned on December 12 but having been held out of four of the Spurs' past 10 games, as the team has tried to manage his recovery. "It depends on how his shoulder goes".

However, Popovich has managed to guide San Antonio to 27-13, good for third place in the West, heading into Sunday's contest. Of course, this comes just eight games into his season.

The Spurs were also originally optimistic about the right quad tendinopathy that lingered for Leonard from last season into training camp.

They will certainly hope that this latest injury doesn't keep him out for too long.

On the plus side, the team believes he could return by Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers, per Wright. His minutes load had increased from less than 20 in his first four appearances to almost 30 in his last four, and his performance was just starting to resemble the player who has twice been named Defensive Player of the Year and entered the MVP conversation each of the past three years.

Since then he has been on a minutes restriction and rested regularly since returning, in true Gregg Popovich fashion, but Leonard has been fairly productive (15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game over just under 23 minutes per game).

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