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San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard suffers partial tear in left shoulder

Antonio Hernandez/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard recently worked his way back from quadriceps tendinopathy, which sidelined him for over a quarter of the season.

After appearing in eight games, Leonard is set to miss more time due to a "partial tear" in his left shoulder, according to head coach Gregg Popovich.

Popovich, however, suggested the injury may not be as serious as the one that sidelined Leonard for much of the beginning of the season. When asked how much time Leonard will miss, he responded, "I don't think it'll be awhile."

Ahead of the team's game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Leonard was ruled out. He suffered the initial tear in the Spurs' game against the Phoenix on Friday, a game in which Leonard scored 21 points.

ESPN repots the organization does not think the injury is serious based on the initial diagnosis and will evaluate Leonard to determine how much time he should miss.

Teammate Manu Ginobili spoke about Leonard's injury after the loss to Portland, expressing disappointment after the star forward worked so hard to get back on the court this year:

"There's not many alternatives. What are going to do, just be crying in the locker room and not go out and play? It's disappointing. We need him. He started to feel better, to feel good and then we lose him for a few games and we don't know how many."

Leonard is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best players in the league. The Spurs have title hopes once again this season and will look to get their star forward back on the court quickly as the franchise pursues its sixth NBA Championship.

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