Has partial tear in shoulder

Has partial tear in shoulder

The Spurs say that Kawhi suffered a partial shoulder tear and that he's been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Trail Blazers.

The Spurs have managed well without Leonard this season, ranking third in the Western Conference, and they are just 4-4 with him in the lineup thus far, but San Antonio desperately needs him at full strength to represent a real challenge to the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets in the playoffs.

"It's disappointing. We need him", guard Manu Ginobili said in reference to Leonard missing the 111-110 loss in Portland with a left shoulder strain.

"I don't know", Popovich added. "It depends on how his shoulder goes".

"It's too bad. He was starting to get back into form a little bit after playing a couple of games", Popovich said of Leonard.

It's been an injury-riddled stretch for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, from an ankle issue that ended his season during last year's playoffs to a quad injury that delayed his 2017-18 season debut until December 12.

In an effort to ease him back slowly, the franchise has held him out of five games since his return in what they call "return from injury management" where he doesn't play in back-to-backs.

Leonard missed a huge chunk of the season due to a quadriceps injury and he has only appeared in eight games since he returned to the court. He also showed signs of getting back to his best defensively as he notched four steals and three blocks. While they are unclear about how long his recovery will take, they are hopeful he can play Thursday.