San Antonio Spurs fans may have to go longer without superstar Kawhi Leonard than they originally thought. The NBA star, who has been plagued with injuries for the past two seasons, is sitting out yet again due to a right quad injury, but his return rests solely on his shoulders.
According to a February 22 report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi Leonard has been medically cleared to play for the San Antonio Spurs again this season. However, the All-Star NBA forward is currently choosing not to return to the team following his most recent injury, likely not feeling comfortable with the way the injury still feels.
Kawhi Leonard has only played in nine games for the San Antonio Spurs this season after returning to the team following an ankle injury in the playoffs last season, where he landed on the foot of Golden State Warriors’ player Zsa Zsa Pachulia, who was closing him out after a jump shot. The injury ended Kawhi’s playoff run as well as sparked controversy from NBA fans.
On Wednesday, Spurs coach Greg Popovich told the media that he would be “surprised” if Kawhi Leonard were to return to play for the team this season, revealing that there is a good possibility that he will have to prepare his team for a playoff run without their star.
The news about Kawhi Leonard’s decision to sit out even though he’s been medically cleared is now leading to rumors that there is conflict growing between the basketball star and the San Antonio Spurs. Kawhi’s actions and the possibility of him becoming a free agent in 2019 is said to be leading to tension for the team, who have held steady in the Western Conference this season without Leonard. However, they have an aging roster and are believed to lack the firepower to get past powerhouse teams such as the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
It seems that only time will tell if Kawhi Leonard will feel comfortable enough to return to the team in the second half of the season or possibly rejoin the San Antonio Spurs for the playoffs.