Report: Kawhi Leonard medically cleared to play, choosing not to
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich caught headlines today when he said that he would be surprised if Kawhi Leonard returned to play this season.
Now a report has come out indicating that Leonard has in fact been cleared medically to return, but instead he has decided to seek out a second opinion on his right quad injury, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.
Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.
This may come as a big disappointment to San Antonio Spurs fans but it is ultimately a decision for Leonard at the end of the day. Clearly the injury is more complicated than the usual one since Leonard is being more cautious.
The Spurs were hoping Leonard could return soon and help give them a boost with the playoffs nearing and the team sitting third in the Western Conference.
Popovich also added this today at practice:
“We only have X number of games left in the season, and he’s still not ready to go,” Popovich told reporters in San Antonio on Wednesday. “If by some chance he is, it’s gonna be pretty late into the season and it’s going to be a pretty tough decision; how late to bring somebody back. So that’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.”