SAN ANTONIO — The availability of Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard remained in question Thursday for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals as the team took part in its first practice in preparation for Saturday’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors.
Leonard did not participate in Thursday’s workout, but multiple players said they saw the forward at the club’s practice facility.
“He was sitting nicely on the sidelines. It’s going well, as well as it can go,” center Pau Gasol said. “We have a good training staff. He’s working with them, and trying to get that ankle right. That’s what I know.”
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Leonard reinjured his left ankle Sunday during the second half of San Antonio’s 113-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was unavailable for comment on Thursday, said after Game 1 that he anticipated Leonard’s recovery to take longer than when he originally suffered the injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.
“The thing that worries me is that he did it again, the exact same thing,” Popovich said. “So one would logically think maybe it will take longer, but I’m hoping that’s not true and we’ll have him for Game 3.”
The Spurs provided no indication either way Thursday regarding Leonard’s potential return, while his teammates played coy when asked about the situation.
“I haven’t heard anything yet,” power forward LaMarcus Aldridge said.
Since Leonard departed Game 1 with 7:54 left in the third quarter, the Spurs have been outscored 194-133 by the Warriors. In Leonard’s absence, the team has shot 37 percent from the field, including 8 of 30 from 3-point range, while the Warriors are connecting on 57 percent of their shots, including 24 of 54 from deep.
Shooting guard Danny Green said he spoke to Leonard and point guard Tony Parker, who is out for the playoffs after surgery for a torn quadriceps tendon he sustained in the Spurs’ second-round series against the Houston Rockets.
“He looked good, didn’t talk about it that much,” Green said of Leonard. “I saw Tony also. He was in the building today. He looked good, too. Just asked him how life was, how things were going. He said he’s strengthening and working on some things. He’s taking it a day at a time, each one of those guys.”