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ESPN's Michael C. Wright tweeted the news Wednesday morning.
Kawhi just spoke and said he wants to finish his career as a Spur.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) March 7, 2018
"I talk to Pop everyday," Leonard told reporters. "He knows what the progressions were. He knows what I am doing the whole entire time."
Leonard's reassuring comments come after his devastating quadriceps injury during the Western Conference finals last season that's made him miss all but nine games in the 2017-2018 season. In November, head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that he had never seen an injury like Leonard's.
While Leonard initially returned to the court in December, a shoulder injury caused him to undergo further rehabilitation. In a January report, Wright and Adrian Wojnarowski, also from ESPN, speculated the Spurs-Leonard relationship, saying work needed to be done "to repair what has been until now a successful partnership." Leonard was medically cleared by the team, but opted not to play and even sought out additional consultation at a New York facility.
In February, Popovich told reporters he'd be "surprised" if Leonard returned at all this season, sparking reports of whether Leonard would stay with the Spurs when he becomes a free agent in summer 2019.
Rumors were somewhat put to bed when Leonard returned to the team's practice facility late last month, but his comments on Wednesday have been the first time he's spoken to media since January 13 (when he last played). It's also the first time Leonard has responded to reports of "friction."
As far as his return to the court, Leonard told reporters "soon."
"I don't have a set date right now," Leonard said. "The progressions that I'm making has been great, so I've just gotta keep doing what I'm doing."
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