ESPN has reported that San Antonio Spurs’ guard Manu Ginobili will miss a month of action due to an injury he sustained during Wednesday night’s home win against the New Orleans Pelicans.
According to the team’s reports, the Argentinian guard underwent testicular surgery Thursday in San Antonio, which will force him to miss four to six weeks of action.
The ESPN report states that Ginobili took a knee to the groin area from New Orleans’ forward Ryan Anderson during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s match up.
The collision was significant enough to where several Spurs and team personnel quickly rushed over to check on the former all-star guard before helping him to his feet. It was then that Ginobili attempted to walk off the pain, but had to pause before nearly collapsing again due to the pain. Teammate Tim Duncan, along with a team trainer, assisted the ailing Ginobili to the locker room following the incident; he did not return to the game.
The San Antonio Spurs are playing record breaking basketball this season, averaging a league best +13.3 points per game differential, but unfortunately the greatness that is the Golden State Warriors have overshadowed their accomplishments; the [San Antonio] were also blown out by the Warriors last week, re-enforcing Golden State’s claim as the top team in the league this season amidst debates of the Spurs being a team that could take that title from them.
Mid-way through the season the Spurs sit in second place in the always competitive Western Conference with a 41-8 record, leaving them only four games behind the reigning NBA champion Warriors despite the Warriors’ historic run to out-besting the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record for wins (72-10).
With the injury to Ginobili, the Spurs will now look to 6’6″ rookie wing Jonathon Simmons for a larger contribution. Simmons is currently averaging 13.5 minutes per game and 5.9 points while on the court. His athleticism and defensive capability has earned him high praise from coach Popovich and now has a shot to earn a bigger role on one of the league’s top teams.
“I don’t want to joke with that,” point guard Tony Parker said when asked about Ginobili’s condition Wednesday. “It doesn’t look good.”
Following the game first year Spur David West acknowledged his belief that Ginobili would be alright, but Spur knew the extent of Manu’s injury following the game Wednesday night.
“I have no clue,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I haven’t seen him. He wasn’t in the locker room, I don’t think. I don’t know what the hell happened.”
Along with now having to deal with the absence of one of their top bench players, the 2nd place Spurs have also been playing without their anchor Tim Duncan, who has been sidelined with a sore knee. The ailment has forced Duncan to miss the past five games, with the team ruling the fundamental veteran out for Friday’s match up against the Dallas Mavericks.
Coach Popovich may want to consider resting his aging forward through the February 14 All-Star Game, a tactic he uses frequently to keep his key playoffs fresh for a deep playoff run.
[AP Photo/Aaron Gash]