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San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker feels Kawhi Leonard's pain dealing with injury

From NBA media reports

Mar 24, 2018 10:35 AM ET

 

What's next for San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard?

What in the name of Tim Duncan is going in San Antonio? The rumblings are odd, to say the least, for an organization that's always managed its affairs in private. The franchise at odds with its star player over an injury. Star players' teammates surprise him with an impromptu meeting to encourage him to return from the injury that has cost him all but nine games this season. And finally, veteran star and leader takes veiled shot at star player when comparing his thoughts on the time he dealt with the same injury and battled back for the greater good.

None of what's going on right now with Kawhi Leonard makes much sense, other than the fact that Leonard's decision not to play right now because of the quad injury that he's been battling all season is his and his alone. Tony Parker's dig about how he fought back from the same thing last season certainly won't sit well with some in Leonard's camp, not days after Parker and Manu Ginobili led that players only meeting earlier in the week. Tom Orsborn of the Express News catches you up on the latest drama:

Parker's injury was considered career-threatening. But after surgery conducted by Spurs doctor David Schmidt and an arduous rehabilitation, the 35-year-old future Hall of Fame point guard returned to the court in late November.

Despite being just 27, Leonard's recovery hasn't gone as well. He has played in just nine games this season and hasn't been on the court since Jan. 13.

"I've been through it," Parker said after shootaround Friday. "It was a rehab for me for eight months. Same kind of injury, but mine was a hundred times worse, but the same kind of injury. You just stay positive."

While Parker relied on Schmidt and other Spurs medical staffers to oversee his recovery, Leonard has sought and received a second opinion and is now waiting for his own medical staff to give him the green light to return.

Parker was asked to describe his experience with the Spurs medical staff after he tore his quad.

"It was awesome," Parker said. "I had options, too, obviously when you have a big injury like that you can go to L.A., Europe, France. I could have gone anywhere, but I trust my Spurs doctors. They have been with me my whole career. They know my body better than anybody.

"So for me, it was a no-brainer to do the surgery with them. So when I had my injury, forty-eight hours (later) I was in surgery. I didn't take two weeks and go through options. For me, it was a no-brainer because I feel like we have the best medical team in the world."

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