San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich hinted that superstar Kawhi Leonard might be out for an extended period of time due to right quadriceps tendinopathy. In an interview with Michael C. Wright of ESPN, Popovich said he has never seen an injury like the one that has been hounding Leonard since training camp. Popovich lamented that while Tony Parker and Leonard have the same injury, the latter has yet to participate in any basketball activity while Parker is in line to return later this month or early December. Leonard has been sidelined since the preseason due to the injury.

Wright reported that the Spurs refuse to provide a timetable for Leonard’s return since rehabilitation from quadriceps tendinopathy is a very unpredictable process. Earlier, Leonard was seen limping and grimacing in pain while boarding the team's flight to Chicago, showing that he's still far from returning to the playing court.

Spurs remain contenders in West

Last season, the 26-year-old Leonard was a finalist for the MVP trophy after averaging 25.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 74 games. He helped carry the Spurs to the Western Conference Finals but he suffered an ankle injury in Game 1. Leonard’s absence allowed the Golden State Warriors to reach the NBA Finals via a sweep. This season, the Spurs were expected to struggle in the absence of Leonard.

However, Popovich made the necessary adjustments to the team’s style of play to compensate for Leonard’s absence. Currently, the Spurs are tied for third in the Western Conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves, carrying identical 11-7 records.

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped up in Leonard’s absence, averaging 22.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a night for the Spurs.

Young players Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Brandon Paul, and veterans Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills are also stepping up for Popovich.

Spurs lose to Pelicans

Gay scored 19 points off the bench, Gasol tallied 17 points and nine boards while Aldridge added 16 as the Spurs lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-90, Wednesday (Nov.

22). Murray contributed 14 points, three rebounds, and four assists while Anderson added 12 points for San Antonio. The Pelicans’ twin towers dominated the Spurs, with Anthony Davis leading the way with 29 points and 11 boards, while DeMarcus Cousins adding 24 points and 15 rebounds for New Orleans (10-8).