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Tony Parker says Kawhi Leonard could return in 'a couple of weeks'

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker made his season debut last night after being sidelined since May when he ruptured his left quadriceps tendon. While he was on the comeback trail, Parker got a close look at the rehab work fellow star Kawhi Leonard was putting in as he recovers from quadriceps tendinopathy.

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To Parker, Leonard is showing more and more signs of improvement with each workout. But, Parker was quick to remind Spurs fans after Monday’s practice that the team won’t be in any hurry to rush Leonard back.

“He’s close, but it’s still going to be a process,” Parker said. “You know the Spurs, they are going to take no risks. It’s going to be … a couple of weeks, three weeks, they are not going to take any risks, but he is looking good so far.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich disputed Parker’s assertion about Leonard, but did say the star forward is making significant strides in his injury recovery process.

“He’s getting very close and making progress,” Popovich said. “He’s having contact now, and hopefully, we’ll get him back shortly.”

“He was looking good the last two or three practices he had with me,” Parker said of Leonard.

Popovich told the media before last Wednesday’s game that’s he’s “never” seen an injury like the one that has sidelined All-NBA forward Leonard this season. Quadriceps tendinopathy includes a variety of maladies, including tendonitis, that manifests in pain and soreness around the top of the kneecap during and after exercise.

But while Parker ruptured his quad during last season’s Western Conference semifinals, Leonard has been on the injured list since training camp despite no such catastrophe.

All along, the Spurs did not provide a specific time for either player’s return. But Popovich said again last week that both would be back “sooner rather than later.”

“It’s kind of like being a politician,” he joked. “It’s all baloney, doesn’t mean anything.”

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