Spurs' Leonard (quad) could return Thursday

EditorialsWill Kawhi Leonard surpass Tim Duncan as the best Spur ever

EditorialsWill Kawhi Leonard surpass Tim Duncan as the best Spur ever

Last week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Leonard returned to San Antonio's practice facility after rehabilitating for several weeks in New York City.

Leonard, a top three finisher in the past two Kia MVP voting and cornerstone of the Spurs' post-Tim Duncan era, has played in just nine of their 63 games this season while dealing with quadriceps tendinopathy in his right leg.

Leonard has missed all but nine games this season for a Spurs team that is fifth in the Western Conference at 37-28.

Leonard, 26, has not played since January 13 as he's dealt with a quad injury that's persisted all season. He saw limited action in eight of the next 16 games, averaging 16.2 points in 23.3 minutes, before returning to the sideline in early January.

"I feel better, and I'm feeling more comfortable", Leonard said last Thursday AEDT.

Kawhi Leonard could be available for the San Antonio Spurs as early as Thursday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, sources tell ESPN's Lisa Salters. Considering how well the Jazz have played against San Antonio this season, with Leonard believed to be unavailable for that contest, many were feeling good about Utah's chances.

How quickly Kawhi would be able to get back to playing 30 minutes a game and not have to take any games off besides the only back-to-back set the Spurs have left on their schedule (April 3 and 4 on the road against the Clippers and Lakers) is a mystery. At one point it was even announced that tension had developed between Leonard and the Spurs regarding his recovery.

And now comes news of his imminent return, which the Spurs hope will resurrect their hopes of challenging the Rockets and defending champion Warriors for league supremacy.

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