Parker returns, expects Leonard to return in ‘2 to 3 weeks’
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker is back for the San Antonio Spurs, and the veteran guard expects teammate Kawhi Leonard to return in “two or three weeks” from a quadriceps injury that’s kept him out all season.
Leonard has been practicing with Parker and retired San Antonio forwards Tim Duncan and Matt Bonner as part of his rehabilitation from right quadriceps tendinopathy.
“I still think he’s a couple of weeks away,” Parker said of Leonard. “He was looking good the last two or three practices he practiced with me.”
Parker will start at point guard in his season debut Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured quadriceps tendon. He will play limited minutes, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, but there was no exact figure.
Leonard worked out Monday after the team’s morning shootaround, a rare public sighting of him on the court.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year missed the last three games of last season’s Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors after re-aggravating a sprained left ankle, but said he recovered from the injury shortly after San Antonio’s season ended.
Leonard missed all preseason with a thigh injury that Popovich said was similar to Parker’s.
Popovich was not as definitive about when Leonard would return, joking that he would confer with team doctors rather than “Dr. Parker.”
“He’s getting very close,” Popovich said. “Making progress. He’s having contact now. Hopefully we’ll get him back shortly.”
The Spurs have the third best record in the West (12-7) despite being without Leonard and Parker.