San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard provided fans expecting his return with a glimmer of hope as he worked out at the team’s facility Monday. Per Michael C. Wright of ESPN, veteran point guard Tony Parker placed an estimate on when Leonard will return to action from quadricep tendinopathy. Parker, who will make his season debut Monday against the Dallas Mavericks after missing 19 games due to a torn quadricep tendon in his left leg, expects Leonard to play “in a couple weeks, three weeks.” According to Parker, he liked what he saw during Leonard’s workout, saying his teammate looked great.

Parker, for his part, said he’s very luck that his body reacted well to his rehabilitation, unlike Leonard, who is behind in his recovery.

Popovich silent on Leonard’s return

Earlier, coach Gregg Popovich said that he has never seen an injury like the one Leonard has, in his almost four decades of coaching. At first, Popovich placed Leonard’s return in November, but in past interviews, he declined to provide a clear timetable on his superstar’s return. In a recent interview, Popovich said Leonard is “gonna be back sooner rather than later,” but he did not elaborate on his statement. Last season, Leonard averaged 25.5 points and 5.8 boards and was a finalist for the MVP award, which was captured by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Aside from his scoring, Leonard emerged as one of the league’s best two-way player after winning the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award twice.

Parker expected to play limited minutes

Leonard hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Without Leonard, the Spurs became easy prey for the Warriors, who reached the NBA Finals via a four-game sweep.

Even without Leonard, the Spurs are contending in the West with a 12-7 mark. Parker, for his part, suffered the injury in the West Semifinal against the Houston Rockets.

Seven months later, Parker said he feels like a rookie in the NBA. According to Parker, he expects Popovich to place him on minute restriction, saying he’s happy to play even just five minutes.

Last season, Parker averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 assists in 25.2 minutes per game. While Parker was out, Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray shared ball-handling duties for Popovich. Mills is averaging 8.6 points and 3.5 assists per game, while Murray tallied 7.6 points and 4.8 boards per outing for the Spurs.