Tony Parker is one step closer to returning for the San Antonio Spurs. Is there a timetable?
The point guard position looked noticeably different for the San Antonio Spurs in the preseason and the first two regular season games. Dejounte Murray started all but one of these matchups (missed the last preseason game), while the newly re-signed Patty Mills came off the bench. Tony Parker wasn’t included in any of this, as he rehabs a torn quad, that was suffered in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
The last word on Parker’s quad was him hoping to return in November. Based on what happened on Sunday, will that be possible?
According to Jeff McDonald of MySanAntonio.com (h/t Pounding the Rock), the Frenchman participated in full contact 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 games. Head coach Gregg Popovich said his return date won’t be for over one month, but will be good to go for 5-on-5 play “in about a week.”
Parker’s recovery from his quad rupture looks to be moving quicker than anyone expected, especially for a 35-year-old player that’s been around since 2001. Instead of needing until early 2018, he could be back well before Christmas, deepening the Spurs’ rotation and making things interesting at point guard.
Will Parker regain the starting point guard spot, however? He’ll need to pry it away from Murray, who averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on 51 percent shooting in the first two games. If the five-time NBA champion remains out until November or December, it’s plenty of time for the 21-year-old to establish his grip on the starting role. That will happen in games against the Boston Celtics (Oct. 30), Golden State Warriors (Nov. 2) and the Los Angeles Clippers (Nov. 7), along with other tough matchups.
Murray’s minutes seem likely to decline, either way when Parker returns. The same goes for another player on the bench, potentially Mills or the players that are on the brink of the rotation. We’ll see how it unfolds this fall.