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Kawhi benched in Portland with partial shoulder tear

10 January 2018

Kawhi Leonard suffered a sprained ankle in last year's playoffs.

Leonard has a partial tear in his left shoulder, per coach Gregg Popovich, Michael Wright of ESPN reports.

Leonard has only played in eight games this season, having returned on December 12 but having been held out of four of the Spurs' past 10 games, as the team has tried to manage his recovery.

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"I don't know", Popovich added.

Kawhi missed the first 27 games of the season recovering from a thigh injury that occurred in the offseason and has had minutes restrictions placed on him since coming back on top of missing another five games as the team has managed his return to full playing time.

The Spurs were also originally optimistic about the right quad tendinopathy that lingered for Leonard from last season into training camp. While they are unclear about how long his recovery will take, they are hopeful he can play Thursday.

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Leonard missed a huge chunk of the season due to a quadriceps injury and he has only appeared in eight games since he returned to the court. Not only that, but the perennial MVP was starting to look like his old self. Meanwhile, the Spurs are 27-14 out west-5.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors. Against the Knicks and Suns, Kawhi would post back-to-back 20-point games.

Leonard was ruled out of Sunday night's game at Portland, and the Spurs plan to evaluate Leonard over the next couple of days of its current road trip. "The Klaw" is now averaging 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals nightly in the seven games he has played since making his return.

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Kawhi benched in Portland with partial shoulder tear