Kawhi Leonard injury caused by nail sticking up out of Sixers' floor

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard said he needed to leave a tight game against the Philadelphia 76ers because a nail on the floor gashed his knee -- although it's not clear how or why there was a nail on the floor of an NBA arena.

Kawhi Leonard gave a strange and somewhat scary reason for why he had to leave the San Antonio Spurs' Monday night game against the Philadelphia 76ers, claiming his knee was torn open by a wayward nail sticking up out of the floor.

For more on Leonard, visit Pounding the Rock

Leonard had been one of the Spurs' better players in crunch time, hitting big buckets as the Spurs fought back from seven down to take a lead in the game's last few minutes. But he came off the floor, obviously in pain, with about a minute and a half left -- a sequence he explained to Mike Monroe of Spurs Nation:

"I just hit the hardwood on one of those nails, really hard," said Leonard, who made two of the biggest plays of the period for the Spurs. "It busted my knee wide open.

"It kind of felt funny when I tried to explode up the court when we got the ball and I tried to cut to the basket, so I had to come out and see what was wrong before I injured it worse."

It's not clear why or how a nail got on the court -- there aren't nails in the floorboards -- or how nobody noticed to stop the game. There definitely aren't supposed to be nails jutting up out of the floor.

Leonard had stopped play by fouling away from the ball so he could come off the floor, giving the Sixers a free shot and possession of the ball, after which he was immediately tended to by the Spurs medical staff, although it wasn't clear from the TV broadcast what the injury was and there was no sign of bleeding. Leonard would sit through crunch time as the Spurs won, 90-85. There's no official word on his status, but it seems likely the second-year small forward will be able to play going forward.

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