San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is ahead of schedule in his injury recovery, according to Danny Green.
During the second round of the 2017 NBA playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs lost Tony Parker to a torn quad. It put him out for the rest of the playoffs and likely for part of the 2017-18 season. That means point guards down the depth chart will be in line to take over for him.
A clear-cut return date for Parker isn’t known, as he’s in his mid-30’s and may need longer time to return than someone younger that suffers this same injury. However, Spurs shooting guard Danny Green feels he’ll be back sooner than later.
Green spoke to French publication LCI about this (h/t News4SanAntonio.com):
“He obviously had a tough injury last year but he’s recovering. He’s a couple of months ahead of schedule… I don’t want to leak anything but he might be playing a lot sooner than people think he’s playing.
He’s been doing his rehab like a monster, like a maniac. He’s been working out like a maniac and mentally he’s really focused and trying to get his body healthy and get it right. You’ll probably be seeing Tony playing a lot sooner than what most people expect him to be back by.”
“A couple months ahead of schedule” is obviously a good indication of where Parker is at in his rehab. Green didn’t clarify when this return might be, so Parker could always be back to start the season, two months in, or even in 2018.
While the Frenchman is out, the Spurs will turn to a new face at point guard. No official announcement was made, nor should one be expected until training camp. Experience wise, the job would go to Patty Mills. He re-signed for four years, $50 million.
Mills started when Parker went down in the playoffs, so that may be a clear indicator of the point guard situation for the upcoming season. Second-year pro Dejounte Murray also had an uptick in minutes. He’s probably the best bet to be the backup.
When Parker returns, it will be interesting to see how many minutes he receives. What if Mills is playing well and the Spurs sit at No. 2 in the Western Conference? Will the 2001 draft pick go to a bench role?
Now, let’s see when Parker officially returns to the court. It may be a while, but if Green’s words mean anything, look for it when least expected.