Tim Duncan went down with an injury in the San Antonio Spurs win over the Washington Wizards, putting the immediate future in doubt for one of the NBA’s hottest team.
There were not many details about Duncan’s injury, but the Spurs announced on Twitter that he had sprained his right ankle and left knee and wouldn’t be returning to the game. The injury left Tim Duncan sprawled out on the floor for several minutes, grabbing his right leg before teammates Stephen Jackson and DeJuan Blair helped him to the trainer’s room.
“He’s fine, he’s fine,” Parker said. “It’s nothing big. I’m sure (coach Gregg Popovich) is going to be very conscious about his knee and we’ll see.”
But the injury certainly looked scary to those in attendance. Washington’s Martell Webster rolled onto the back of Duncan’s legs while fighting for a rebound, sending audible gasps throughout the crowd.
“That was scary when you see that,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said. “Those are always the ones you don’t want to see when a guy falls into you while your feet are planted on the ground. I just talked to his doctors and they said he is going to be fine.”
The Tim Duncan injury does hint to a scary trend for the aging Spurs. Duncan had missed the four previous games with soreness in his knee, and though he is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds this season, some are questioning the long-term viability of the Spurs.
“Such uncertainty about Duncan’s status has to be worrisome for the Spurs. For all Popovich’s brilliant tinkering, Duncan is the one player the Spurs cannot afford to lose if they plan on postseason success. Popovich absorbs the league’s chastisement over resting Duncan for this very reason. The best coach in the NBA recognizes that all the shrewd lineup-juggling in the world is a poor substitute for a future Hall of Fame center.
“Duncan, at age 36, is still San Antonio’s most indispensable player. His position with the Spurs is similar to Kevin Garnett’s with the Celtics — despite the rise of two All-Star point guards in Tony Parker and Rondo, respectively, the veteran pivots are still their teams’ anchors. Boris Diaw is a fine playmaker from the post and Tiago Splitter is crafty enough to get easy baskets when opponents neglect him, but nobody can replace the overall impact of Duncan.”
The Spurs have not yet said when Tim Duncan will return from the injury.