Gregg Popovich says Kawhi Leonard will return when "his group" decides

Leonard (quad) has returned to NY for the second time this season for rehabilitation under the supervision of a medical team outside of the Spurs organization, Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright of ESPN report. He spent an extended period in NY prior to the February All-Star break. Wojnarowski said there's no timetable for Leonard's return.

Spurs staff has traveled to NY to meet with Leonard and stay abreast of his treatment and activity, sources said. 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.

"I don't know when he and his group are going to feel like they are ready to go", Popovich said before Sunday's game against Houston.

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The Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs saga has continued to unfold as the regular season slowly comes down to an end. "If I knew, he'd be here". The playoffs are an open question, assuming the Spurs make it in. Of course, that's the objective, to get well. He has only played in nine games after missing the first 27, and hasn't played since he was shut down in January. "So when he and his group feel he's ready, then he'll be ready".

The Spurs are now the 4th seed in the Western Conference, but could land anywhere from the 5th to the 8th seed by the time the NBA's regular season is officially in the books. He averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks this season. Leonard's status was the focus of a Spurs player-only meeting on March 17, league sources told ESPN, and prominent teammates Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have drawn attention for public comments about Leonard's status.

Leonard, 26, is a two-time All-NBA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals.

  • Regina Holmes