The Spurs finished the first half of the season with a 27-14 record even though they didn't have Leonard and point guard Tony Parker for the first 27 and 19 games, respectively.
However, the Spurs are optimistic about his long-term outlook.
They will certainly hope that this latest injury doesn't keep him out for too long. That injury ultimately cost him the first 27 games of the season. The two-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year was known to have a shoulder injury but not necessarily one of that potential severity. His minutes load had increased from less than 20 in his first four appearances to almost 30 in his last four, and his performance was just starting to resemble the player who has twice been named Defensive Player of the Year and entered the MVP conversation each of the past three years. He appeared to be rounding into form lately, with back-to-back 20-plus point games against the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns and at least 18 points in each of his last four games.
Despite numerous injuries, the Spurs are 27-14 and now in third place in the Western Conference standings. Leonard was ruled out of that game, but the coach did dismiss the possibility of a return by his team's most important player by the time San Antonio visits the Lakers on Thursday.
The two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Defensive Player of the Year award victor is averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals and a block in under 23 minutes a game this season.