Kawhi Leonard Ruled Out Indefinitely with Quad Injury, Spurs Announce

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)    Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 2, 2018 in New York City. The Spurs defeated the Knicks 100-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will remain out indefinitely as he continues recovering from quadriceps tendinopathy, the team announced Wednesday. 

"Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said in a statement. "This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play."

Greg Popovich said the Spurs expect Leonard to play again this season, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.

Leonard didn't make his 2017-18 debut until San Antonio's 95-89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 12. The team was careful about limiting his playing time as he got back into the swing of things, but the quad injury persisted.

San Antonio has shown it can at least remain near the top of the Western Conference without Leonard. Despite his appearing in just nine games so far, the Spurs are third in the West, seven games back of the first-place Golden State Warriors.

LaMarcus Aldridge deserves a lot of credit for that. He's averaging 22.4 points and 8.5 rebounds, and he's playing by far his best since signing with San Antonio in 2015. The Spurs will need him to continue that level of performance until Leonard returns. 

Still, the team's title hopes rest largely on Leonard's availability. Although a few months remain until the playoffs get underway, Wednesday's update is about as close to a worst-case scenario as possible for the Spurs.

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