Former 2014 NBA MVP, 3x All-Defensive Team, 2x All-NBA Team, & 2x DPOY superstar, Kawhi Leonard, has missed every game and team practice since May 14th, 2017, when the Spurs lost to the Warriors. An upper-thigh injury that had been played down by the Spurs, has now reached new heights of complexity. On the surface, it sounded as if the star would miss a handful of preseason games, but this injury has now cost him the entire preseason and 20% of the NBA regular season.
With new information claiming Kawhi is “behind Tony Parker in rehab,” everyone has had a pique of interest as for when Kawhi will make his return; which begs the question: should there be a cause of concern for Leonard?
Yes, there should be.
The Spurs have been awfully quiet regarding the injury of Kawhi, and have failed to provide a timetable of when he may play next. Although it is assumed he will return before seasons end, how can we be sure? Two months ago, fans across all teams naively assumed that his upper-thigh injury was day-to-day. One month ago, it was thought his return was only ‘one or two weeks away,’ and then a video of him struggling to walk up one flight of stairs emerged. The truth is, no one really know when this injury started, or when it’ll end. That should be concerning.
At this point, nearly every ‘new piece of news’ is purely from a speculation standpoint. A return within the next year is almost certain, but the most important part to this puzzle is how well Kawhi will play when he returns.
A long break from basketball is never easy, so it will be interesting to see how the former MVP responds on and off the court, when he begins practicing again and his skills have greatly regressed.