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Kawhi Leonard will miss Spurs season opener, Gregg Popovich says

We still don’t know a timetable for his return.

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors - Game One Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kawhi Leonard will miss the San Antonio Spurs season opener with continued rehabilitation a left quadriceps injury, head coach Gregg Popovich said on Friday.

Leonard has missed the entire preseason with this injury. He suffered from an left quadriceps injury in 2012 and a right quadriceps injury in 2016, and there is currently no timetable for his return.

“I don’t gauge it,” Popovich told reporters. “He’s still rehabbing and when he’s ready, he’ll be ready. I try not to qualify it.”

Leonard is the do-everything-star for the Spurs, who the team relies on immensely on both sides of the ball. He finished third in the MVP last year and is the current front runner for MVP, although it’s obviously pending his health. Leonard has been rehabilitating with San Antonio but hasn’t practiced.

What would happen if Leonard missed extended time?

The Spurs are also missing Tony Parker, who is expecting to return in November. In the meantime, their offense will have to rely much more heavily on LaMarcus Aldridge. The team still has shooters, and a lot of pressure will fall on Dejounte Murray at the point — though he has his own injury issues now, too.

Defensively, the Spurs can be solid, but they simply aren’t dynamic without Leonard. The two-time former Defensive Player of the Year is a crucial part of what made San Antonio the best defense last season.