NBA: Thigh injury rules Kawhi Leonard out of San Antonio Spurs' pre-season

San Antonio Spurs' All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard is entering his seventh NBA season after averaging 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season and making the All-Star game for the second time in his career.
San Antonio Spurs' All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard is entering his seventh NBA season after averaging 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season and making the All-Star game for the second time in his career.PHOTO: AFP

(THE SPORTS XCHANGE) - San Antonio Spurs' All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will miss the entire pre-season due a right thigh injury, the team announced on Saturday.

The Spurs said in a statement that Leonard's timeline for returning to the court would be determined at a later date as he "continues a rehabilitation program for right thigh tendinopathy".

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich indicated the issue first developed sometime last season.

"We're still rehabbing his thigh," Popovich said at Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage.

"He'll probably miss the beginning of pre-season or a good deal of pre-season, and we're not going to put a timetable (on a return). But he's working at it, and we'll get him back as soon as we can."

The 26-year-old Leonard missed time during the 2017 play-offs because of an ankle injury suffered in Game Five of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets.

He aggravated that sprain in Game One of the West Conference Finals and sat out the rest of Spurs' 4-0 series loss to the Golden State Warriors.

"No, nothing happened," Popovich said about whether Leonard suffered a recent injury.

"It's just last year... working on things from last year. It's gone a little more slowly than we thought. No, (the) ankle's fine."

Leonard is entering his seventh NBA (National Basketball Association) season after averaging 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season and making the All-Star game for the second time in his career.

He was voted first-team All- NBA and named first-team All-Defence last season.