Kawhi Leonard Aggravates Ankle Injury vs. Warriors in Game 1, Will Undergo MRI

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 14, 2017

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard looks on during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, Friday, May 5, 2017, in Houston. San Antonio won the game 103-92. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The San Antonio Spurs announced star forward Kawhi Leonard would not return to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors after suffering a sprained left ankle in Sunday's third quarter.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN's Undefeated reported Leonard will have an MRI Sunday night on his ankle.

Leonard originally injured his ankle in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets. He did not play at the end of the fourth quarter or in overtime during the Spurs' 110-107 victory.

He also missed San Antonio's Game 6 series-clinching win against Houston.

The Spurs will only go as far as Leonard takes them. Heading into Sunday, the two-time All-Star was averaging 27.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in this postseason.

This San Antonio team lacks considerable star power beyond Leonard, so his injury makes the Spurs' quest for a championship exponentially more difficult. Few players in the NBA offer the same combination of offensive and defensive prowess that Leonard brings to the Spurs.

While he's sidelined, San Antonio may need to call upon sophomore Jonathon Simmons more frequently. Starting in Leonard's place against Houston in Game 6, Simmons chipped in 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and four rebounds in 31 minutes.