LaMarcus Aldridge commented on Kawhi Leonard's injury status – but it remains a mystery
Leonard has played just nine games this year after struggling with a quadriceps injury that has been the source of much friction with Spurs’ team executives and medical staff.
The two-time All-Star is said to be unwilling to risk a premature return from the injury for fear of aggravating the complaint and jeopardising his chances of a whopping “superman” contract potentially worth $215m (£150m) this summer.
Earlier this week, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich suggested the decision to remain inactive is one being made by Leonard and his representatives rather than the team.
And it emerged today that the relationship between player and coach has deteriorated enough for Popovich to consider a blockbuster trade exit this summer.
Aldridge has stepped up to become the main man for the Spurs' offence in Leonard's absence
In Leonard’s absence, power forward Aldridge has stepped up to become the Spurs’ best option on offence, crowning a remarkable turnaround for the man many tipped to be shown the door this season.
Making a pointed reference to Leonard’s continued injury exile, Popovich heaped praise on Aldridge, telling reporters: “He doesn't complain about a darn thing. He just plays through everything.
“I can't imagine being more proud of a player as far as playing through adversity and being there for his team-mates night after night after night.”
The former Portland Trail Blazer was asked his thoughts on Leonard’s injury woes after game two of the Spurs’ series against the Warriors this week – and he revealed a little more than he intended with his reply.
Popovich is said to be considering trading the superstar amid rising tensions
"I have no comment," Aldridge told USA Today’s Sam Amick.
"He has to do what's best for him. That's it. Nice to see you."
After his comments were posted online, one fan joked: “I would say this if someone asked me how my ex-girlfriend is doing.”
Another chipped in: “You've gotta be ignorant at this point to not think there's a problem.”
“He very much gone,” added a third.