Leonard remains sidelined with a lingering quad injury, and as fellow Spurs wing Danny Green explained, the 2014 Finals MVP is still experiencing pain after several setbacks in his prolonged recovery.
"From my understanding, he had an injury last season that has been messing with him. It was kind of with him last season and he played through it, and trickled down and got worse during the summer time. He came back, said he had some issues with it, so they were working on it, and they rehabbed it," Green said on In the Zone with Chris Broussard.
"I guess he had a setback, a couple of setbacks, so they reevaluated it, had another group reevaluate it, but nobody really knows except for Kawhi. He's been out, he came back for some games, he seemed like he was okay but, I guess they reevaluated it and it didn't look right, things didn't go the way he wanted it to go, he's still in pain."
Leonard's timeline for recovery has been nearly impossible to pin down, as Green notes, and the confusion has given way to frustration. He was initially supposed to miss some of the preseason, but his return kept getting pushed back until he returned in December. He was in and out of the lineup for nine appearances before shutting it down for good just four weeks after coming back in January.
The latest reports suggest Leonard is currently rehabbing in New York City under the supervision of his personal team of doctors. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made it clear that the decision to return rested with Leonard, and that he will return once his "group" decides he can.
San Antonio still managed to tread water without Leonard, but are no longer considered contenders without their MVP candidate. The Spurs broke an 18-year streak of 50-win seasons and could still conceivably miss the playoffs in the last week of the campaign.