With the new season almost upon us, the San Antonio Spurs are once again flying under the radar.
There has been much activity throughout the Western Conference with many All-Star players arriving on multiple teams, but the Spurs have gone about their business quietly as usual.
The Houston Rockets acquired Chris Paul, the Oklahoma City Thunder secured Paul George and Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler was snapped up by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the most notable moves in the conference.
Houston and OKC are already being talked about as the biggest threats to the Golden State Warriors this season but San Antonio has always proven they're always there or thereabouts.
After making the conference finals last year, they will definitely want another shot at the Warriors and work towards getting that opportunity.
But their preparations for the new campaign have been rocked by the news of an injury to superstar Kawhi Leonard.
The small forward is expected to miss the team's entire pre-season and is a doubt for the beginning of the regular season.
The Spurs announced that he will be out with a lingering thigh injury and there is currently no timetable for his return.
Head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that the issue has been bothering Leonard since the playoffs.
The two-time All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year has been working on rehabilitation all summer but is still not ready to get on the court.
''It's just from last year, working on things from last year,'' Popovich said. ''It's gone a little more slowly than we thought.''
Kawhi averaged 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Spurs last season and was voted first team All-NBA, first team All-Defence and finished third in the MVP voting behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
They were on course to beat the Warriors in game one of the conference finals until Leonard left the game with an ankle injury which subsequently ended his season.
But despite recovering from that issue, he now faces another spell out which will be frustrating for the franchise as they'll be leaning on him more than ever this year.
With the stiff competition in the west, the Spurs can't afford to be without their star for a long period.
New addition Rudy Gay will have to start at the three spot in Leonard's absence but having their star injured isn't the way San Antonio would've wanted to start the season.News Now - Sport News