San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard will be on a minutes restriction when he makes his season debut on Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center, coach Gregg Popovich said.
"Kawhi is back tonight," Popovich said, per ESPN.
Popovich said he plans to be cautious with the 26-year-old Leonard, who has been sidelined with quadriceps tendinopathy.
"Any team would like to have one of their best players back. That's fairly logical," Popovich said. "The team's been playing well. We hope that it'll continue as Tony (Parker) and Kawhi get more minutes. There will be adjustments all the way around. Minutes will be different for different players. Just typical, it's not that complicated."
Leonard recorded career highs in points (25.5) and assists (3.5) last season, while also notching 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He was voted first team All-NBA and named first team All-Defense.
The two-time NBA All-Star last played for the Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors. He sat out the rest of that series due to a sprained ankle.
San Antonio (19-8) resides three games behind the Western Conference-leading Houston Rockets and 2 1/2 in back of the NBA champion Warriors.