SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his season debut against the Mavericks.
The club originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.
Leonard addressed his potential return last week, saying “soon to come.”
Before the team’s win Friday over the Boston Celtics, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his primary concern was the players available right now.
“Whoever is not there is not there. We don’t worry about him [Leonard] or think about it too much. We’ve got to take care of as much of the business as we can, just like Boston is doing,” he said. “In the meantime, a lot of the guys are getting time. We’re playing a lot of different people, a lot of different combinations. Some nights it doesn’t work out really well. Other nights, it looks really good. But I think down the stretch it will help us.”
A two-time NBA All-Star, Leonard averaged career highs in points (25.5) and assists (3.5) last season while also averaging 1.8 steals. Leonard hasn’t suited up to play for San Antonio since Game 1 of last season’s Western Conference finals, a series he couldn’t continue due to a sprained ankle.
As part of the recovery from quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard has worked through a rehabilitation process comprised of several steps such as individual work, two-on-two and three-on-three drills before receiving clearance to practice with the team. Leonard had been working out with Tony Parker, who was recovering from a ruptured quadriceps tendon, as well as former Spurs players Matt Bonner and Tim Duncan.
The Spurs listed shooting guard Danny Green (tightness, left groin) as probable for Tuesday’s game while Kyle Anderson, who had been filling in during Leonard’s absence, is out due to a MCL sprain in his left knee.
Green is averaging 9.7 points in 28.8 minutes per game this season.