Kawhi could return to the Spurs next week vs. Pelicans

Kawhi could return to the Spurs next week vs. Pelicans

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year played in those nine games after missing the season's first 27 games, but returned to the sideline after playing against Denver on January 13.

The San Antonio Spurs star forward could reportedly suit up for the team as early as this coming Tuesday, when they face the Orlando Magic, or on Thursday versus the New Orleans Pelicans should he not suffer any setback, according to Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News. His lengthy bouts with injury have kept him sidelined for all but nine games this season and while the Spurs held on early, they've tumbled all the way to seventh in the West, just one game ahead of the tenth place Utah Jazz.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands for a moment of silence for the National Anthem before the game against the Houston Rockets during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 Playoffs on May 7, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. In the aftermath of the All-Star break, there was legitimate fears that Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, would miss the remainder of the season. He was widely considered as the best two-way player in the league before getting injured, and is the focal point of the Spurs on both ends of the floor. (The pain) is diminishing. They're playing well. I've just got to get back.

Leonard said during the week that he would return to action soon, but he did not give a date. I'm thankful for them, for the teammates that I have. "But I can't come back unhealthy", said Leonard.