Kawhi was cleared to practice and play before the season opener, but Pop held him out to give him a couple of days to get his feet under him. The small forward is poised to continue his rise toward NBA stardom after a great third year.
Popovich is known for resting his guys, and Kawhi only saw 29 minutes of action per game last year, but with the careers of Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan winding down we could see an uptick in Whi's court time as the Spurs will look to him to build on his incredible Finals performance.
He was the only player in the league last season to average more than 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per 36 minutes.
He missed all but the first game of the preseason after picking up a persistent eye infection in Germany where the Spurs started their preseason with a loss to Alba Berlin.
The official release from the Spurs.
SPURS INJURY REPORT
Kawhi Leonard (right eye infection) is available to play in Friday night's game at Phoenix. He missed the final six preseason games and opening night due to the infection.
Patty Mills (right shoulder surgery) and Tiago Splitter (strained right calf) will not play.