San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker hopes to return in Nov. from injury

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 27: Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs drives past Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half of a 103-96 Spurs victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 27, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 27: Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs drives past Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half of a 103-96 Spurs victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 27, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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After taking the Summer off to recover, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker may available sooner than later.

In an interview with David Loriot of L’Équipe on Sunday, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker announced that his right quad tendon has healed. He hopes to return in late November, as reported by Jeff Garcia of WOAI San Antonio. Parker ruptured the tendon during the Spurs second-round series against the Houston Rockets, and was initially expected to miss about eight months after his surgery in May.

Spurs guard Tony Parker says he's cleared to return to court, aiming at a November return https://t.co/vHSHMQLE60 #GoSpursGo

— JeffGSpursZone (@JeffGSpursZone) September 24, 2017

This is obviously great news for the Spurs. It remains to be seen whether or not Parker will be able to return to form; the injury was a severe tear, and Parker has been showing signs of a slowdown for a few years now, but he has improved his shooting and become less reliant on his speed. He averaged 15.9 points per game on nearly 58 percent three-point shooting in the playoffs before the injury, proving that he can still be an impact player.

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Regardless of how he looks when he returns to the court, Parker’s leadership and veteran presence are perhaps more vital to this Spurs team than ever before. Second-year guard Dejounte Murray looks to be the future starting point guard for the Spurs and will likely start at least some games in Parker’s absence, but regardless, Parker’s continued mentorship is bound to be beneficial for the youngster’s development. Similarly, as the longest-tenured member of this Spurs roster, there’s no one more qualified than Parker to help bring this year’s newest Spurs – Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Derrick White – up to speed.

Ultimately, although Parker clearly wants to get back to the court as soon as possible, Gregg Popovich will likely be cautious in handling his veteran point guard. Although the tendon itself is healed, conditioning and preparation for the wear and tear of the NBA season are just as important to Parker’s continued health. The last thing Popovich wants to do is rush his Parker’s rehab only to see him get injured again, so don’t be surprised if Parker’s actual return is a month or two later than what he’s projecting here. “If it were up to him”, Parker jokes in the interview, “I would not play before the playoffs”.

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Let’s hope to see him sooner than that.

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