The San Antonio Spurs picked up a win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night in Tony Parker's first game since picking up his crushing injury in last year's playoffs, but there's still one big player missing from their line up that they would love to have back, and that is Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs picked up their second win in a row last night against the Mavericks at the AT&T Center, with Parker returning to the court for just over 14 minutes to achieve a stat line of six points and four assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol had season-highs in points on the night for the Spurs, with Aldridge scoring 33 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, while Gasol had 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
However, despite their position of third in the Western Conference, the one person that they're missing right now is Leonard, as the talented small forward looks to be the difference between the team being where they are now, and being at the top of the conference.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke to the media before his team defeated the Mavericks on Monday night and gave an update on the health of the 26-year-old, who has been sidelined since before the start of the preseason due to a right quadriceps tendinopathy. He was asked if Leonard was close to playing 5-on-5 in practice.
Popovich said, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News: "He's getting very close and making progress. He's having contact now and hopefully, we will get him back shortly."
Leonard is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who's finished top-three in MVP voting the past two seasons, so the Spurs will be looking to get him back onto the court as soon as possible. He hasn't played for San Antonio since Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, a series he missed thanks to a sprained ankle.
The Spurs play next on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.