Kawhi Leonard is back tonight, on minutes restriction

VIDEO: Mavericks Salah Mejri Tripped Patty Mills After the Game

San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard was in the starting lineup Tuesday for his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks.

Asked if he planned to limit Leonard's minutes, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "Right, right".

Now the Mavs (7-20) look to be the first team to face the Spurs with Leonard, who has yet to play this season because of an injury that the team has only labeled as left quadriceps tendinopathy.

"Me not being able to play the game was a little frustrating, but my team is doing a great job of holding their own", Leonard told reporters last week.

Don't expect Leonard to play too many minutes in his first game back.

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Parker returned to action November 27, but he hasn't played more than 20 minutes in any of his six appearances and has sat out two games to rest. There will be adjustments all the way around. He displayed the ability to go head-to-head with the games best whether it was LeBron James, Kevin Durant or anyone else in the league. "Just typical, it's not that complicated".

The 2016-17 National Basketball Association season can still be counted as a generally good time for Leonard - without his devastating injury in the latter part - as he was nominated for the Most Valuable Player award that was later won by Oklahoma City Thunders' Russell Westbrook.

Upon hearing that All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard would make his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili made a prediction. We're always anxious about stuff, thinking about stuff, and trying to figure out ahead of time what might go wrong, what we can do to be better.

"We are going to see how he reacts to having limited minutes to ease back into the game", Ginobili said. His play on both ends has justified a lucrative contract extension he signed prior to the season. "We've had some good games this season, but we put it all together tonight".

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