(SP) – Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, forcing him out of the remainder of the game as San Antonio lost a 25-point lead in defeat. To make matters worse for the Spurs, the team says there is currently no timetable for their star player’s return.
“Honestly, I don’t know when we’ll get Kawhi back, if at all,” said Gregg Popovich after the game. “I was hoping to get him back tonight, actually, but when I tried to ask our trainer and team doctor before the fourth quarter if Kawhi could play, I was told by an assistant that they had been hired by the Warriors. So I have no update for you.”
After Leonard went down after landing on Zaza Pachulia’s foot after taking a jumper, the Warriors quickly went into action, offering long-time Spurs trainer Will Sevening a $70 million contract as he helped Leonard off the court and then quickly inking San Antonio team physician Dr. David R. Schmidt to a $100 million deal. Dr. Schmidt announced his decision in a first-person article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “My Next Chapter.”
San Antonio is now struggling to find new medical personnel who can give them a good read on Leonard’s status, but the Warriors have already snatched up most of the top talent. But Spurs GM R.C. Buford says he has a plan in place.
“We have identified some international physicians who we really like,” he said. “They may not be able to help us immediately, but we’re confident they’ll develop into some of the best medical professionals in the nation within the next few years.”