Nurse told Prime Time Sports Tuesday evening that Leonard “jammed his foot up a little bit” late in Friday’s win over the Phoenix Suns, which caused him to miss back-to-back contests against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday and Utah Jazz Monday.
“He was really close, it was right up to game time last night, and he’s in pretty good shape, really, it was close last night and he just couldn’t quite move side to side the way he really wanted to to go out there and play last night,” Nurse explained. “We’re hoping he’ll be back tomorrow and play the game.”
Leonard only played nine games one season ago when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs, so when asked about the game plan in terms of giving his star forward rest Nurse said the team is taking the situation slowly.
“We didn’t want to overload him since he hadn’t played for so long and we’ve kind of taken it a little week by week and look at the schedule and see how his load is in games and then make a decision,” Nurse explained. “He won’t play the back-to-backs here for a little while, but I think it’s not far away where we just cut him loose and let him play.
“I don’t really want to put a timeframe on it, but not that far away.”
The Raptors are 10-1 overall and 7-0 with Leonard in the lineup this season. The 27-year-old superstar has averaged 34 minutes on the court in those contests while scoring a team-high 26.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Prior to his recent two-game absence, Leonard previously sat out games against the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks.