After many have speculated that LaMarcus Aldridge’s season may be cut short, the Spurs announced that Aldridge has been cleared to play, and will be available tonight against the Portland TrailBlazers.
The San Antonio Spurs are back in business.
Earlier today, the Spurs announced that Aldridge has passed all of his tests, and has officially been cleared to resume basketball activity tonight against the Blazers.
Here's the release on LaMarcus Aldridge: pic.twitter.com/erspjuX2VA
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) March 15, 2017
First and foremost, I speak for most Spurs fans when I say it’s great to have Aldridge back and healthy, considering the potential severity of his injury.
Without him, the Spurs would struggle to beat the more elite teams in the Western Conference. With him, the first seed becomes much more likely, and so does a deep run in the playoffs.
How fitting is it that LaMarcus Aldridge, who's season was in danger, returns for a game against the TrailBlazers? #InAldridgeWeTrust
— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) March 15, 2017
According to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, everyone in the Spurs organization said Aldridge handled this situation with class. Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford had this to say:
“We are thankful LaMarcus will be able to rejoin the team,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said in a statement. “All of us have been impressed with the professionalism and the grace he has shown in dealing with this difficult situation.”
Orsborn also got the chance to catch up with head coach Gregg Popovich:
“We are obviously thrilled about that,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, “but more importantly thrilled that the doctors feel that he is fine in the sense that we are not putting him in danger or anything like that. That is the most important part.”
Popovich went on to say:
“He has dealt with this all year long, which nobody really knew about,” Popovich said.”Being a consummate pro, he was able to do everything that was necessary to bring this to some sort of a conclusion. And that wasn’t easy. Throughout the year, he has gone through some procedures and had to do some things that are not pleasant and he has shown a lot of class and a lot of fortitude in the way he has done it all.”
Aldridge handled this situation with “class and fortitude,” according to Popovich, which should also be the motto of the Spurs as a whole.
Without Aldridge, the Spurs were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks. When players go down for the Spurs, other players are ready to step up at a moment’s notice.
Now, with Kawhi Leonard and Aldridge back in the lineup, the Spurs will look to make their final push for the first seed in the Western Conference.
That push begins tonight when the Spurs welcome the Blazers to the AT&T Center.