Popovich Would Be "Surprised" If Leonard Returned This Season

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It appears 2017-18 may be a lost season for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, according to head coach Gregg Popovich.

Leonard – limited to just nine games this season – has been out of the Spurs line-up since January 13, dealing with a quadricep injury.

The two-time NBA All-Star averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season before suffering a setback.

Popovich was unwilling to completely rule Leonard, 26, out for the remainder of the season but he is not very optimistic his star man will see the court again this term.

"You know, with Kawhi, I'll be surprised if he returns this season," Popovich said on Wednesday. "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 gonna be pretty late in the season and it's going to be a pretty tough decision, you know, how late you bring somebody back.

"So that's why I'm just trying to be honest and logical. I'll be surprised if he gets back this year."

On the plus side for Spurs fans, forward Rudy Gay – out since December 28 with a heel injury – is expected to return to the line-up against the Denver Nuggets on Friday.