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Manu Ginobili Injury Issues: Should Spurs Fans Be Concerned?

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It’s no secret that playing many seasons in the NBA can take a toll on player’s body. Father-time always wins out, it’s just a matter of when.

Well, it seems father-time seems to be catching up with San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili from a physical standpoint. Ginobili stated a few days ago that he has a few nagging injuries going on, most notably in his left achilles and left toe.

As a reminder, Manu Ginobili also dealt with a broken foot this offseason that sidelined him for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, something Ginobili said he was looking forward to with his home country Argentina.

Manu Ginobili has logged a lot court time during his NBA career, nearly 1,000 regular and post-season games and 27,000 minutes to be more exact. It should not come as a surprise that Ginobili is not in peak physical condition.

With Manu Ginobili mentioning his various ailments, along with his long list of games logged in the NBA, the question now lies as to whether this is the year father-time finally catches up to the Argentine guard.

Should San Antonio Spurs fans be concerned about Manu Ginobili’s injury issues?

This is not the first time Ginobili has dealt with injury issues.

Manu Ginobili has missed 10 or more games in the regular season six times before. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard has als had two season where he has played below 50 games, 44 in 2008-2009 and 34 in 2011-2012.

Obviously Ginobili is not going to miss the regular season opener because of his injury issues but we can use the performances following injury-riddled seasons to get an idea of what kind of Manu Spurs fans will see on the court this year.

Manu Ginobili Has Been Consistent Throughout His Career

Even when Manu Ginobili has been injured, he has been able to bounce back, not really losing a step. We can see Ginobili’s consistency through his per 36 numbers throughout his career.

Since Gregg Popovich has reduced Ginobili’sminutes over the years, per 36 numbers allow a great opportunity to look at how consistent the Argentine guard has been throughout his San Antonio Spurs career.

A quick look at the table shows that even this season, after trying to combat father-time and injury issues, Manu Ginobili’s per 36 numbers are right at his career average.

Even in seasons when Ginobili has been injured, he has been able to keep his per 36 numbers close to his career average.

What is even more important is the fact that Manu Ginobili has been able to stay consistent while aging and being injured.

In 2012-2013, a season following injuries that limited Ginobili to 34 games, the Olympic Gold Medal winner was able to post numbers similar to his career per 36 numbers.

While one can argue that Ginobili fell off during the 2012-2013 campaign due to his drop off in shooting effectiveness, that argument is quickly dispelled when you take a look at his 2013-2014 numbers.

Manu Ginobili brought his shooting perecentage numbers right back up to his career averages in 2013-2014, essentially defeatin the idea that he had lost some of his effectiveness.

Manu Ginobili Played with a Foot Fracture in the NBA Finals

Manu Ginobili played with a foot fracure in the NBA Finals and still performed admirably.

The San Antonio Spurs guard averaged 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists during the NBA Finals while also shooting 50% from the field and 41.7% from deep.

Those are solid numbers for any player in the NBA Finals. When you consider Ginobili was 36 and had a foot fracture at the time, those numbers become flat out impressive.

Manu Ginobili has been fighting father-time it would appear he is actually winning for now, especially based on his NBA Finals performance.

Conclusion

Sure Manu Ginobili played poorly in the NBA preseason averaging only 6.3 points on 19.5% shooting but it is only the preseason!

Ginobili claimed himself that heading into training camp that he was out of shape because he was nursing his injuries. Also, if you want to use Ginobili’s poor scoring and shooting perecentage to claim father-time has caught up with the Argentince you looking at the situation very narrow-mindedly.

While Manu Ginobili did struggle shooting the ball and scoring in the preseason, he did do other things well. In his 21.9 minutes per game in the preseason, Ginobili averaged 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Ginobili may not have his scoring ability back yet but he sure proved he still has his all-around game, something that receives a lot less credit than given, especially in the San Antonio Spurs system that is predicated around teamwork and ball-movement.

Additionally, Ginobili has proved in the past that he can come back from injuries strong. Although there might be struggles in the early going, Manu Ginobili has proved time and time again that he can still put together great performances, especially in the playoffs where it counts.

Manu Ginobili might be dealing with various nagging injuries entering the 2013-2014 season but it is nothing for San Antonio Spurs fans to worry about.

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The former second round pick always plays hard and has proved that he will always be a solid contributor to the team.

The only thing left to think about for Spurs fans is how much will Manu Ginobili defy father-time this season.

How do you think Manu Ginobili’s nagging injuries will affect him for the upcoming season? Do you think Ginobili will struggle or will he continue to be effective for the team? Somewhere in the middle? Let us know in the comments!

Also, follow Air Alamo on Twitter @AirAlamo for all your San Antonio Spurs needs!

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