Spurs star likely to return on Thursday

Spurs' Kawhi Leonard eyeing return from quad injury Thursday vs. Pelicans: report

Will the return of Kawhi Leonard spell bad news for the Utah Jazz?

The forward is reportedly in line for a return in Thursday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans but, in the meantime, San Antonio will have to soldier on after losing for the eighth time in 10 games in a 104-94 defeat by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

The Spurs have sorely missed Leonard, who is a two-time All-Star, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time NBA champion, and he was also named the 2014 NBA Finals MVP. The injury continued to bother him, and he played just nine games before returning to the sideline and stepping away from the team.

Leonard has been riding a stationary bike and participating in 3-on-3 drills to simulate the physical contact of games, but he has done so with staff members and "not my players".

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Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands for a moment of silence for the National Anthem before the game against the Houston Rockets during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 Playoffs on May 7, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

How quickly Kawhi would be able to get back to playing 30 minutes a game and not have to take any games off besides the only back-to-back set the Spurs have left on their schedule (April 3 and 4 on the road against the Clippers and Lakers) is a mystery. "The guys have been doing it all season". They understand the situation that I'm in. "I'm just competing", he said in a post-game interview on ABC. Although San Antonio has been pretty very bad of late, they'll certainly be a team to keep a close eye on now with Kawhi Leonard likely set to return on Thursday.

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