Kawhi Leonard targeting Tuesday return

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San Antonio Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard is reportedly aiming to make his season debut on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

"Whoever is not there is not there". We've got to take care of as much as the business as we can, just like Boston is doing.

"That's where I'm at right now", Kawhi said, referring to playing five-on-five. In our case, when he gets there, he gets there. Some nights it doesn't work out really well. But he's looking good so far. "But I think down the stretch it will help us". But earlier this week, the two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Defensive Player of the Year told the media he has been participating in 5-on-5 drills and he should be back soon than later.

Given his importance, it is a testament to the Spurs' depth and Popovich's coaching they have played well without him and remain in the thick of the playoff picture, as they are now third in the Western Conference.

As part of the recovery from quadriceps tendinopathy, Leonard has worked through a rehabilitation process comprised of several steps such as individual work, two-on-two and three-on-three drills, before receiving clearance to practice with the team.

Spurs guard Tony Parker, who has recently returned from his own quad injury, said Leonard's in great shape. Whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge's starring role or a supporting cast of Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol and the improving Danny Green, they combined for a 17-8 record. LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 27 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth 20-10 outing of the season after recording only three such games past year, while Pau Gasol had 14 points and 11 boards to remain the only Spur to play and start in every game this season.