AP Photo
January 16, 2015

SAN ANTONIO (AP) San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will start on Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 15 games because of an injured right hand.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made the announcement before the game.

Leonard initially injured his right hand Dec. 9 against Utah, tearing a ligament while trying to brace his fall on a failed dunk attempt against the Jazz. He returned after sitting out two games, but damaged the ligament again against Portland on Dec. 15 in his second game back when a defender slapped his right hand.

San Antonio (24-16) has struggled through a succession of injuries to Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and others.

Leonard leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points and is averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

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