Manu Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs veteran, has successfully recovered from his testicular injury and will be returning to action in the near future, the team revealed on Wednesday.
Ginobili, who has missed 11 games thus far, expects to return to the court sometime next week after being cleared by team doctors. “I’m pretty sure that will happen,” said the two-guard. “Bottom line: very unfortunate situation (and) play,” said the four-time NBA champion.
The 38-year-old suffered the testicular injury during the February 3 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. After undergoing an immediate surgery, the team was hopeful that he’d return in time for the postseason. “Got hurt badly (during that game), and nobody expected anything like that. I had to sit for a month. It was very painful. The first week was very tough. But after that, I started to get better,” added Ginobili.
Manu Ginobili returns to training
After weeks of post-surgery rest, Ginobili participated in scrimmages and workouts with the team over the weekend. Up until a few days ago, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn’t convinced that Ginobili had fully healed.
Ginobili acknowledged that the quality of his practice sessions do not imply his performances in real games. However, he insisted that a return is on cards. “I’m progressing great. I practiced a little bit. I’m feeling good. I’ve been lifting, conditioning. I’m ready to play.”
Tony Parker, the Spurs point guard, was relieved to see his close friend move around the court during Monday’s practice session. “When I got back (to training), I was surprised. “Everybody was saying like six weeks, maybe longer. Now it looks like he can be back like next week. I don’t know what they’re going to decide. With Pop, you never know. He likes to be on the safe side,” said Parker.
The San Antonio Spurs would rather wait until the postseason to get the Real Manu Ginobili back. With a 50-9 record, they are comfortably placed to secure the No. 2 seed, with or without Ginobili. However, Ginobili’s versatility and experience would be needed during the playoffs.