Gregg Popovich: Never seen issue like Kawhi Leonard’s quad injury

8:29 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS — In a storied career spanning more than 40 years at various levels, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has “never” encountered the quadriceps issue that has kept Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup this entire season.

“Never, never,” Popovich said when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. “What’s really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys.”

Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon last season during the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets and underwent surgery. But Parker continues to inch closer toward returning, and Popovich said he thinks Parker will be back “very soon.”

“For real, sooner than later. And I’m serious. I’m being honest,” he said.

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