Following the high-profile injury suffered after the questionable foul from Zaza Pachulia, Kawhi Leonard’s status for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was already up in the air. On Monday afternoon, Gregg Popovich now famously went off on Pachulia but, in the midst of his comments, also let it slip that Leonard was not expected to play when the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors get together for the second game of the series.
Later in the day, however, word broke that Leonard’s official listing would be as doubtful for Game 2.
Fortunately for the Spurs, though, the overall news was (very) good, as the MRI that Leonard underwent on his ailing ankle revealed nothing in the way of structural damage.
Quite obviously, the likely absence of Leonard for Game 2 spells disaster for San Antonio with regard to the series and, if we’re being honest, the Spurs were seen as substantial underdogs even at full strength. Still, the absence of any long-term damage is an excellent thing for one of the best players in the NBA and the door remains open for a near-full strength Spurs team to reappear in Game 3 with an eye on making things interesting for the Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard being healthy sooner rather than later would be a great thing for the Western Conference Finals, and even beyond that, avoiding long-term injury woes for the best of the best is always appreciated for fans of the sport.