Popovich: ‘Surprised’ if Leonard returns to Spurs this season

The news seems to just keep getting worse for Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs.

While there’s no official word of when or if Leonard will return this season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich painted a bleak picture from practice Wednesday.

“I’ll be surprised if he returns this season,” Popovich said of Leonard, out with a quad injury. “We only have X number of games left in the season, and he’s still not ready to go. If by some chance he is, it’s going to be pretty late. How late do you bring somebody back?

“That’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.”

Leonard was considered an MVP candidate last season as one the league’s top two-way wings. But he’s played just nine games in 2017-18.

Popovich added that the Spurs need to be ready “to move on” in the event Leonard is in fact out for the year.

“The team has to realize this is who we are, this is who have, this is who will play.” Popovich said. “Wishing and hoping doesn’t do anybody any good. We have to do what we can to be the best team possible.”

The Spurs (35-24) return to action Friday at the Denver Nuggets.