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Gregg Popovich says Kawhi Leonard's recovery coming along slower than expected

Gregg Popovich says Kawhi Leonard's recovery coming along slower than expected

But that wait could be longer than they'd anticipated as head coach Gregg Popovich revealed that Leonard is now behind schedule in his recovery, saying he's "just coming along more slowly" than expected.

While Tony Parker already has three practices under his belt with the Spurs' G League team, Kawhi Leonard doesn't seem close to doing three-on-three work, let alone five on five. Coach Gregg Popovich hoped to have the Spurs' superstar back on the court within the next three weeks, but it remains a mystery when Leonard will return.

Leonard's last on-court appearance came in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals in May, against the Golden State Warriors. Without him, the Spurs have still been pretty solid, going 6-4, but they'll be elated once he rejoins the squad.

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The offense, meanwhile, has floundered without the two-time All-NBA first-teamer. Parker had a stint with the Austin Spurs before being recalled by San Antonio. Tony's at the point where he's been going five-on-five, that kind of thing. He's not totally confident.

Parker underwent surgery during the offseason to fix a ruptured left quadriceps tendon, but he has spent time practicing with the team's G League affiliate. Asked if Leonard would have to go through same process as Parker to be cleared to play, Popovich said, "Sure".

Leonard is still nursing a quad injury that has kept him out of both the preseason and the first few weeks of the 2017-18 National Basketball Association season. But he's definitely going in the right direction. He suffered an ankle injury after a controversial closeout from center Zaza Pachulia. "It's just taken a little bit longer". He has to go three on three, five on five, feel comfortable. "Even if the doctors say you're ready to go, you're really not until you're mentally ready to go". There have been trials and tribulations, with a four-game winning streak to open the season, a four-game losing streak, and an ongoing three-game winning streak.

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