Spurs’ Popovich has ‘never’ seen injury like Leonard’s

San Antonio Spurs star small forward Kawhi Leonard is still rehabbing from right quadriceps tendinopathy, an injury head coach Gregg Popovich says he has “never” encountered before.

The ailment Leonard is dealing with is inflammation of the tendon of the thigh muscle.

Leonard hasn’t played since Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals and been able to practice with the team so far this season. Popovich told reporters at the beginning of November that Leonard is “just coming along more slowly” than expected in his rehabilitation.

“Never, never,” Popovich told ESPN when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. “What’s really strange is that Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys.”

Leonard, arguably the best two-way player in the league, 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. He is currently engaged in on-court work, but hasn’t yet advanced far enough to receive clearance to return — according to ESPN’s Michael Wright.

The Spurs are 11-7 on the season, good for fourth place in the rugged Western Conference.