Soobum Im-USA TODAY SPORTS
After recording a team-high 22 points in Saturday’s blowout win against the Los Angeles Clippers, Taigo Splitter went down with a sprained shoulder in the 4th quarter after colliding with Ryan Hollins.
An MRI is scheduled for Sunday, but is already ruled out for the foreseeable future by Popovich.
Tiago splitter will have MRI tomorrow but Popovich says he will be out a while for sure
— Mike Monroe (@Monroe_SA) January 5, 2014
Splitter was having one of his most efficient games on the offensive side before the injury, shooting 8-12 from the field and 6-9 from the free-throw line. He is currently averaging 8.6 ppg and 6.2 rebounds, which are lower than his previous years but reflects how Popovich has been monitoring the Spurs center’s minutes.
Splitter’s list of injuries this season can’t be reassuring for San Antonio fans. He missed four games in mid December due to a calf injury. While the Spurs won all of their games during that stretch, the Brazilian’s presence on the defensive side of the ball was greatly missed. The game against Indiana is a good example of that, where Splitter only played 8 minutes. Those 8 minutes was the only span of time that the Spurs seemed competitive against Indiana.
Another Spurs big man, Boris Diaw, missed the game against the Clippers with strep throat but looks to be ready to go against Memphis on Tuesday. Look for more minutes rotating between Diaw, Jeff Ayers, and Aaron Baynes. Both Baynes and Ayers have been seeing some decent minutes as of late and have not been disappointing. Spurs fans should feel generally confident with them on the court.
The next three games on San Antonio’s schedule is at Memphis on Tuesday, at home against Dallas on Wednesday, and at home against Minnesota the following Sunday.