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Tony Parker Says He Had Similar Injury to Kawhi Leonard but '100 Times Worse'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2018

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9), of France, talks with forward Kawhi Leonard during the second half of the team's preseason NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker offered insight Friday into the quad injury that has limited teammate Kawhi Leonard to nine games this season.

Leonard has been dealing with right quadriceps tendinopathy for essentially the entire 2017-18 campaign. Parker had a similar problem when he ruptured his left quadriceps tendon last May. He missed San Antonio's first 19 games this season.

The six-time All-Star compared his situation to that of Leonard, per the San Antonio Express-News' Tom Orsborn:

Tom Orsborn @tom_orsborn

Tony Parker on his return from the career-threatening quad injury he suffered last May: I’ve been through it. It was a rehab for me for eight months. Same kind of injury (as Kawhi), but mine was a hundred times worse. But the same kind of injury. You just stay positive."

Tom Orsborn @tom_orsborn

Tony also said he never considered getting a second-opinion after he tore his quad: "I could have gone anywhere, but I trust my Spurs doctors. They have been with me my whole career. They know my body better than anybody…I feel like we have the best medical team in the world."

It remains unclear when or if Leonard will return to the Spurs this season. Head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters Monday the team isn't setting a deadline for when it would shut Leonard down. Guard Manu Ginobili acknowledged he's of the mindset Leonard isn't going to rejoin the team.

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday the Spurs had a players-only meeting to discuss Leonard's situation. Wojnarowski wrote the meeting was "tense and emotional at times" and that Leonard told his teammates he hasn't fully recovered and will continue to be as cautious as necessary with his recovery.

Spurs guard Danny Green refuted Wojnarowski's reporting on Twitter:

Green also spoke with Orsborn about the mood inside the team locker room during the meeting.

"Nobody in there was frustrated or took it the wrong way," he said. "We were communicating like adults. We don't have personalities in our locker room to be coming after each other. We don't have an emotional team. We don't play like we are emotional. And in the locker room we don't get emotional either. We talk like adults."

Not too long ago, it looked like Leonard's injury might jeopardize the Spurs' playoff hopes. However, San Antonio now sits in sixth place, three games ahead of the ninth-place Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets could still catch the Spurs, but San Antonio seems to have gotten things back on track after going 2-7 in February.

While the Spurs are in position to stretch their postseason streak to 21 seasons, Leonard's availability may be the biggest factor in whether they can advance to the second round, especially if they're matched up with the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors in the opening round.

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