According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, Kawhi Leonard is the one who will decide when he returns to the San Antonio Spurs lineup.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gregg Popovich said that he’d be surprised if Kawhi returns this season.
Shortly afterward, a report surfaced on ESPN detailing why Leonard has only played nine games this season. The report cites sources that say that Kawhi has been medically cleared to return but that he’s decided not to play until he can manage the pain that his injury is causing him.
That’s why Leonard was shut down after only being back for about a month. But it doesn’t explain anything about how Leonard is attempting to recover from his injury.
Earlier this season, another report stated that there was a rift between Kawhi and the team centered around his injury. This isn’t the first time that this has happened and usually involves a difference of opinion between one set of doctors and another.
We saw this recently in the drama that unfolded between Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat. The Heat said that Bosh’s season and likely career were over, but Bosh hired his own set of doctors for a second opinion and tried to get cleared by seeking outside treatment.
Another example that we’ve covered is Daniel Bryan and the WWE. The company won’t let him wrestle despite the fact that Bryan has had several independent doctors tell him that he can return to the ring.
It will likely be awhile before we finally figure out why Kawhi has missed so much time and the details of the dispute between him and the team. Until then, Spurs fans can only hope that this injury doesn’t affect the rest of his career and that the relationship between him and the team can be mended in time.