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Report: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs agree on rehab program that has him away from team

Kawhi Leonard, Gregg Popovich

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard talks to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich between plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 3, 2016. The Spurs beat the Pelicans 94-86. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)


The Spurs reportedly cleared Kawhi Leonard. His own medical team obviously hasn’t.

But are both sides actually on the same page?

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

League sources tell me that his doctors and the Spurs medical staff agree to his current rehab program in New York. Both sides collaborated to any decision with his injured right quad. Not a player gone rogue.

If this is the case, Gregg Popovich’s repeatedly referring questions about Leonard’s rehab to Leonard and his camp is a disservice to Leonard. That makes it sound as if Leonard is on a different page from the Spurs and therefore must answer for himself. If everyone agrees on the plan, Popovich could more easily share it himself.

There are reasons to suspect a divide, though. No. 1: Why would the Spurs leak that they’re on the same page as Leonard rather than just saying so themselves?

This sounds like spin out of Leonard’s camp. That doesn’t make it untrue, but it should raise some skepticism. Leonard has been widely criticized for not being with the Spurs as they compete in the playoffs. Even if he’s not playing he could sit on the bench. This rebuts that argument.

How convincingly? That’s debatable.