San Antonio Spurs small forward Rudy Gay sat out of Sunday evening’s loss with a sore right heel, but how serious is his injury?
Over the course of his short time as a member of the Spurs, veteran forward Rudy Gay has been nagged by right heel injuries. He was sidelined for 25 games in the 2017-18 season, a number that was concerning for a player coming off of a left Achilles tendon rupture in the previous season.
Still, Gay has been able to fight through any injury concern through the first stretch of games this season. He’s been more explosive than we’ve seen in the silver and black and has been extremely efficient from the floor.
It was evident in Sunday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic that Gay is a necessary cog that keeps the Spurs offense alive. As the third scoring option for head coach Gregg Popovich, Gay provides a baseline of consistency and versatility that ties the rest of the team together.
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In eight games this season, Gay is averaging 13.3 points on 48.9 percent shooting from the field and an outstanding 56.3 percent from behind the arc. During his 28 minutes per contest, he’s tacking on 7.9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.1 steals on a nightly basis.
Luckily, it doesn’t seem like Gay’s injury is quite as severe as his last two, as ESPN’s Michael C. Wright reported that “Pop sort of made it sound like this might be more of a veteran rest day.”
This is great for a Spurs unit that has turned lots of heads in the competitive western conference. It’s easy to brush aside early-season losses and chock it up to chemistry issues, but the truth of the matter is that poor losses early in the season have long-term effects on playoff seeding at the end of the regular season.
For San Antonio to keep the train running, they’ll need Gay back healthy and available to contribute on a nightly basis.
With a battered backcourt and thin rotation at the small forward position, Gay’s health will play a major part in San Antonio’s season success.