Gregg Popovich indicates confusion, disconnect between Kawhi Leonard's 'group' and the Spurs

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs is introduced before the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 13, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Leonard recently left the team for the second time this season to continue rehab on his injured quad in NY, and the Spurs have reportedly grown pessimistic that Leonard will return to the court at all this season.

Leonard still hopes to return during the regular season, although the Spurs only have five games remaining.

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

Leonard left San Antonio and his teammates in the aftermath of increasing tension levels surrounding his disconnect with the team and several near-returns that resulted in Leonard backing off and staying on the sidelines.

Added up, the playoffs are about to commence and San Antonio has no clue whether it will have the services of the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

"I've been through it", Parker told reporters. In limited minutes in Leonard's nine games this season, he averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds a game.

"He is not coming back", Manu Ginobili said. Same kind of injury, but mine was 100 times worse.

Also, veteran point guard Tony Parker, who returned from a more severe quadriceps injury suffered in last season's playoffs, also has made critical remarks. "So when he and his group feel he's ready, then he'll be ready". Earlier reports indicated that Leonard has been cleared medically by the Spurs, and that the onus is on him to decide when he's comfortable to take the court again.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked whether the team is making an effort to keep Leonard engaged and feel as if he's a part of the team.

Is there a possibility Leonard could get clearance from his doctors on this trip?

Rose said that he expects Leonard to try to get as physically healthy as possible in time for the offseason and to enter a situation "that is going to make him happy" and that "it is not (going to be) in San Antonio".

  • Joey Payne