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San Antonio Spurs star small forward Kawhi Leonard met with reporters Monday prior to the team’s matchup with the Detroit Pistons and gave an update on his recovery from right quadriceps tendinopathy.
Leonard, who hasn’t played since Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals, recently began participating in five-on-five drills at practice and says he’ll be back on the floor once he completes a few more processes.
“I feel good,” Leonard told reporters. “Soon to come, I’ll be able to play on the floor. It’s been a long wait but I’m feeling pretty healthy right now. I’ve been playing five-on-five so that’s where I’m at right now. Still got to go through a few more processes of doing that and I should be back soon.”
The two-time All-Star didn’t give a target date for his return and says he’ll only play once the doctors clear him and he’s 100 percent.
“No, just whenever,” Leonard said. “See how next day recovery feels and just based on how I feel is when I’ll be released to play. Just take it day-to-day.”
Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 3.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game last season and finished third in MVP voting behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said last week that Leonard is in his last steps.
“Those are the last steps,” Popovich told reporters. “He’s starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident. When he says, ‘I feel I can go,’ then he’s got to convince me. Because I’m going to err on the conservative side. We’ll see. He’s too valuable to bring back early.”