Wednesday afternoon, the San Antonio Spurs announced Kawhi Leonard will be out for an indefinite period of time as he continues his rehabilitation process from right quadriceps tendinopathy.
From the press release:
“Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play.”
Leonard initially began the quad rehab process during the preseason and he ended up making his season debut December 12, 2017.
Leonard had gone on to play in nine total games this season and he hadn’t been cleared to play in a game unless he’d had at least two days off to rest. In those nine games, Leonard has averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 23.3 minutes.
The Spurs are 5-4 with Leonard this season and in his last four appearances, the Spurs are 4-1.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Spurs are 24-12 without Leonard this season.
However, over their last nine games, the Spurs have had trouble winning consecutive games as they’re 4-5 in their last nine, and they haven’t won two games in a row since December 28.
Leonard isn’t the only Spur dealing with an injury, as Rudy Gay has been out for several weeks with a right heel injury, Manu Ginobili was recently hurt with a thigh injury, and Danny Green (groin) and Pau Gasol (wrist) are also dealing with injuries, but they’ll try to play with them.
The schedule also doesn’t get any easier for the Spurs in their last 37 games, since 25 of those teams are currently .500 or above.
Going forward, the Spurs will have to try to ride the ship as long as possible until (if) Leonard comes back this season. Despite having Leonard in only 20% of their games this season, the Spurs have been able to stay elite with the third best record out West because of their defense, which is ranked second best in the NBA (101.2 PP/100).