Leonard to start for Spurs in debut after missing 27 games

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on October 21, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will start in his season debut Tuesday night at Dallas after missing 27 games with a quadriceps injury.

Leonard has been recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee. He last played in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last season, when he injured his left ankle. Golden State swept the series on the way to the NBA title.

The 26-year-old Leonard averaged a career-best 25.5 points last season and was a contender for the MVP award that went to Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. He is a two-time defensive player of the year.

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