In the second part of the San Antonio Spurs’ road trip, Tony Parker exited with a sprained right ankle. He reportedly expects to return by Saturday.
Injuries have plagued the San Antonio Spurs for all of the 2017-18 season. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Joffrey Lauvergne, Rudy Gay and Derrick White are among the Spurs that missed an extended period with an ailment. This remains the case for Leonard and Gay.
Tony Parker began the season injured, too. He tore his quad in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, missing time until the end of November. A six-month recovery was quick for the 35-year-old, but at that age, injuries can take longer to rehab and occur more frequently.
In Monday’s game vs. the Sacramento Kings, Parker departed with a sprained right ankle. Head coach Gregg Popovich kept him out of Thursday’s matchup vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, the first one since this comeback victory happened. However, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, the Frenchman felt he could have played in Los Angeles. He attributed it to the Spurs being “cautious.”
Parker said he should be ready to play Saturday against Denver after sitting out tonight's game with a sprained right ankle: "I could have played tonight. But you know the Spurs, they are going to just be cautious. So the bad luck I had (hurting in Monday night) wasn't too bad."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) January 12, 2018
“Cautious” or “conservative” fits how Popovich has handled every injury this season. When Leonard was healthy, he only played after having at least two nights off. So, if there was just one day off between games, the “Klaw” sat on the bench. The same went for Parker’s return from his own quad injury.
With this temporary absence at point guard, it means Dejounte Murray jumps into the starting lineup, much like he did Thursday. Patty Mills comes off the pine as a primary bench scorer, so it gives the youngster an opportunity to increase his exposure to the NBA’s starting-caliber guards.
Will Parker return on Saturday? Let’s see what the Spurs decide, and if they choose to remain conservative with their long-time point guard.