#San Antonio Spurs head coach #Gregg Popovich confirmed that superstar #Kawhi Leonard will not play in their Wednesday’s season-opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to his quad injury. "He won't be available," Popovich told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News when asked about Leonard’s status against the Timberwolves. Popovich said Leonard’s still undergoing rehab, adding that he will play once ready. Popovich is known for not forcing players to return to action if not fully ready.

During the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Leonard suffered an ankle injury in Game 1. Despite being at a disadvantage, Popovich did not force Leonard’s return, instead of sitting him for the rest of the series that they lost via four-game sweep.

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Last season, Leonard finished third in the MVP race after averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 boards and 3.5 assists per game. Leonard, who was acquired by the Spurs via a Draft Day trade with the Indiana Pacers in 2011, emerged as the new leader of the Spurs with the retirement of Tim Duncan. The 26-year-old Leonard is known as a two-way player, winning the Defensive Player of the Year trophy twice.

Gay to step up in Leonard’s absence

If Leonard misses significant time, the Spurs will rely on new acquisition Rudy Gay to increase his scoring to fill the void left by the superstar. Gay signed a two-year deal worth $17 million in the offseason, giving the Spurs another option on offense. During his stints with the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, and the Sacramento Kings, Gay was known for his scoring, averaging 18.4 points in 753 career games The Spurs could also use Kyle Anderson, Manu Ginobili, and Davis Bertans in the small forward slot.

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Spurs’ point guard out with hip injury

Before their final preseason game against the Houston Rockets, the Spurs announced that point guard Dejounte Murray would not play due to right hip contusion. Murray is in line to start for the Spurs in the regular season until veteran starter Tony Parker returns from a quad injury in December. Murray status for their season-opener is unknown, but he has five days to rest and rehab before their showdown against the Timberwolves. If he doesn't suit up, Patty Mills will get the start for the Spurs with Bryn Forbes and Derrick White backing him up. Last season, Murray averaged 3.4 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists over 8.5 minutes a game. He stepped up his play after Parker went down with the injury, averaging 5.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists in the postseason.