Kawhi Leonard 'Likely' out for Game 4 vs. Warriors with Ankle Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 14: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich expects small forward Kawhi Leonard to remain sidelined with an ankle injury for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

RJ Marquez of KSAT News noted Popovich said at Sunday's practice Leonard is "likely" to miss Game 4 as the Spurs attempt to avoid a series sweep.

San Antonio led Game 1 of the West finals by 23 points when the 25-year-old MVP finalist was forced to exit the contest with the ankle ailment. The team has been no match for the star-studded Warriors ever since losing its leader at both ends of the floor.

On Monday, Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News provided pointed remarks Popovich made about the play that caused the injury and his team's chances after the setback:

A source told ESPN's Michael C. Wright after Leonard was ruled out for Game 3 the Spurs "will always prioritize a player's long-term health over single games," even when the playoffs are involved.

San Antonio, which is also without point guard Tony Parker due to a ruptured quadriceps tendon, has lost the last two games by a combined 48 points.

The Warriors' chances of completing the sweep and making their third straight NBA Finals appearance increase exponentially if Leonard misses Game 4 on Monday night.

Meanwhile, Jonathon Simmons, Kyle Anderson and Davis Bertans would continue to see expanded roles as the Spurs attempt to fill the massive void.

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