Injured Spurs Star Kawhi Leonard Returns to NY for Rehab

Kawhi Leonard's latest comeback attempt seems to have been stopped in its tracks again.

"It's the same as a player who is the 13th man sitting on the end of the bench", Popovich said.

Leonard spent three weeks in NY in February consulting with doctors and working out at the players union's facilities. It was the 26-year-old's second trip to the third-party medical facility, and the timetable for his potential return to the basketball court is still unknown.

This is the second time this season Leonard has travelled to NY.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard is continuing his injury rehabilitation in NY with his own team of doctors, but is unsure when the star forward and "his group" will clear him to play.

The reporter then noted that even if the Spurs ultimately gives him a supermax extension this summer, the possibility of Leonard getting traded is still there as soon as he becomes trade-eligible in September of next year.

"I don't know when he's going to feel, he and his group are going to feel like they're ready to go", Popovich said Sunday prior to a game against Houston.

Leonard tore a tendon in his quadriceps in May and missed the first 27 games of the season. "If I knew, he'd be here".

With just six games remaining in the regular season, the Spurs have been operating as if Leonard will not return. "When he and his group feel he's ready, then he'll be ready". "Of course that's the goal (of his stay in New York), to get well, that's what he's doing". He has not played since January 13.

The Spurs are 44-32 and fourth in the tightly bunched Western Conference playoff standings. He is averaging 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds.

The handling of the injury has reportedly created tension in the Spurs' locker room, leading to a players-only meeting in March.

  • Steve Townsend