This is potentially a big blow to the San Antonio Spurs, though it’s one that is expected to only impact them for a relatively short time.
Kawhi Leonard will be out 10-14 days due to quadriceps tendinitis in his left knee, the team announced in an official release. He won’t travel with the team on its upcoming six-game road trip, which begins Nov. 21 in Boston. An MRI was taken on Friday which confirmed the diagnosis.
Leonard is one of the Spurs’ top defensive players, both individually and in the team’s collective scheme. He’s coming along as a more-than-decent option offensively as well, so San Antonio will feel his absence on both ends of the floor.
Options for the Spurs to go to as a starting lineup replacement for Leonard include Stephen Jackson, Tiago Splitter, and Matt Bonner.
Leonard played 33 minutes in Thursday night’s loss to the Knicks, and finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and two steals, while helping to hold Carmelo Anthony to just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.