(Reuters) San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is not expected to return during the NBA playoffs, according to a report from Yahoo Sports yesterday.
ESPN also reported that the Spurs believe Leonard won’t be back in the postseason.
Leonard has played just nine games this season while dealing with right quadriceps tendinopathy.
The Spurs’ medical staff cleared Leonard to return to play in March, but his personal medical team has decided to hold him out as he continues to rehabilitate his troublesome right leg.
Leonard has remained in New York City with his own medical team as he goes through his extended rehabilitation, and he has not rejoined the Spurs over the past month. He has not appeared in a game since playing 31 minutes on Jan. 13.
San Antonio, the seventh seed in the Western Conference, is facing defending champion Golden State in the opening round of the playoffs. The Warriors won the series opener 113-92 on Saturday.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, asked yesterday for an update on Leonard’s status, said, “You’ll have to ask Kawhi and his group that question. So far, they say that he’s not ready to go. So we can’t do anything until that happens. Then, we would have to decide what’s going on from there. But that’s the first thing that has to happen.”
Leonard is eligible for a five-year, $219 million “super max” contract extension this summer. His current contract runs through the 2018-19 season.