Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs says he has never had problems like Kawhi Leonard’s quadriceps injury



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NEW ORLEANS – In a career of more than 40 years at various levels, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has "never" faced the quadriceps problem that has kept Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup all this season. [19659002] "Never, never," Popovich said when asked if he had seen such a condition hampering one of his players. "What is really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse, they had to operate on his quadruple tendon and reattach him or whatever they did to him, so to have two men, that It's pretty amazing, I've never seen him before those guys. "

Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon last season during the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets and underwent surgery. But Parker continues to move closer to his return, and Popovich said he thinks Parker will return "very soon."

"Really, sooner rather than later, and I'm serious, I'm being honest," he said.

Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps tendinopathy) is currently working on the court, but has not advanced enough in his rehabilitation to receive authorization to return to the court, the sources said. Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images

Parker, 35, spent some time working on a rehabilitation task with the team's G League affiliate, and mentioned at the beginning during his recovery that he hoped to return to the court in January. But when Parker returned to training camp with a good health score at the end of September, he moved forward on the timeline, saying he would like to return sometime in November.

Leonard, meanwhile, has not played a game for the Spurs since Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, and missed the rest of the series due to an ankle injury. Leonard arrived at training camp on the San Antonio disabled list, but has not yet been able to practice with the team.

Leonard needs to move forward through a rehabilitation process that involves several steps, including individual work followed by 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, before he can obtain full authorization to return to school. court. According to sources, Leonard is currently involved in the work on the field, but has not yet advanced enough to receive authorization to return.

The club is reluctant to offer a specific timeline for Leonard's return because there is a level of unpredictability involved with rehabilitation of quadriceps tendinopathy, a source said.

For most of the season, Popovich responded "sooner rather than later" when asked about Leonard's possible return.

"I keep saying sooner than later," Popovich said jokingly. "It's like being a politician, it's all nonsense, it does not mean anything."

With Leonard out, fourth-year veteran Kyle Anderson has moved into the starting lineup and is taking advantage of the extra minutes, scoring in double figures eight times in addition to scoring three double-doubles.

"It does not surprise us at all," Popovich said of Anderson's performance in Leonard's absence. "He's had a hard time getting minutes with Kawhi in that place, he's always been a good basketball player, I just have not given him the minutes he's got this year, and when Kawhi comes back, I have some imagination to do, because I still should be On the court in some way or another, he really took advantage of the time, for sure. "

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