Spurs F Leonard is ‘ready to go’ after missing 15 games
SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard says he is ”ready to go” for the Spurs on Friday night against the Trail Blazers after missing 15 games because of an injured right hand.
Leonard is listed as probable after he was cleared to play, but his participation will be a game-time decision by San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.
Leonard initially injured his right hand Dec. 9 against Utah, tearing a ligament while trying to brace his fall on a failed dunk attempt against the Jazz. He returned after sitting out two games, but damaged the ligament more against Portland on Dec. 15 in his second game back when a defender slapped his right hand.
San Antonio (24-16) has struggled through a succession of injuries to Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and others, but the loss of Leonard has had the greatest impact.
Leonard leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points and is averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He has also become San Antonio’s leading defender, often charged with guarding the opposition’s leading offensive threats at the wing.
The 6-foot-7 small forward was initially limited to conditioning because pain prevented him from fully extending his hand.
He has been shooting for the past week, however, and was actively working on his shot during Friday morning’s shootaround.
”It feels good,” Leonard said. ”It’s back to almost 100 percent. It’s good. No pain.”