At the end of July, Manu Ginobili will join his fellow Argentinians on the national team, which will host and compete in the FIBA Americas tournament (where London Olympic berths will be on the line).
But for now, he is staying off the court on doctor’s orders, he told Mike Monroe of the Express-News. Ginobili played through a small fracture in his elbow during the playoffs (remember that brace?) that he has been letting heal this summer.
I’ve been told not to play hoops for a month, month and a half, two months — not to put pressure on the arm.
I notice now that the pain is almost gone. The last time I did the MRI, probably around May 16 (or) May 20, they told me that the bone edema that I had was controlling itself, but I still needed a little time to go.
The little fracture is almost healed, but I needed more time to get completely healed. I am not playing basketball now, but lifting carefully. Running, well, I don’t need my elbow to run. Soon, I will start shooting free throws, with a break for a little bit, and see how it goes.
Argentina should have one of the best teams in the Americas tournament with Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Delfino. All playing on their home soil, it has to make them a favorite. If they get to play — the lockout could cause serious insurance issues for NBA players trying to play in summer FIBA tournaments world wide. (The USA does not need to compete for an Olympics berth there, they sewed one up by winning the FIBA World Championships in Turkey last summer.)
Manu Ginobili missed Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs first round series against the Memphis Grizzlies with what was described as a sprained elbow (suffered in the last game of the season). When he returned he put up 20.6 points per game of 44.3 percent shooting, numbers very close to his regular season production.
And he may have done it all with broken arm.
That is what he told a paper in his native Argentina, according to the Express-News’ Spurs blog.
Ginobili told the Argentine website Noticiasmdq.com that he sustained asmall fracture of the right humerus, the long bone in the arm that runs from the shoulder to the elbow. The injury occurred in the final game of the regular season on April 13 when he was trapped in a collision between Tim Duncan and Phoenix’s Grant Hill….
Here’s what he told Argentine reporters (translation provided by ProjectSpurs.com).
“Last Wednesday, the medical staff of San Antonio I had the last MRI,” Ginobili said. “The liquid has been absorbed and small fracture in the humerus is welded at 85 percent. I have to be doing nothing for 3 weeks and then begin slowly.”
Ginobili took some grief after missing Game 1 from some quarters of Spurs nation, which was silly at the time considering all that Ginobili has played through (and done for the team in the past). He’s tough, to question that was shortsighted at best.
If he played through a broken arm, those people need to find a nice sized crow sandwich for lunch.
UPDATE 3:48 pm: Apparently somebody brought some water from Lourdes to San Antonio, because there has been a miraculous healing.
Reports as of this morning said Ginobili was still doubtful, but now the very good beat writer Jeff McDonald of the Express-News says on twitter that Ginobili is 99.9 percent likely to play. They need him, and if he is anywhere near ready to go you can bet he will go.
At this point, we may wait to hear a game time announcement to be sure.
1:37 pm: San Antonio shot 21 percent from the midrange (3 to 23 feet). George Hill could not find is rhythm (2-of-7 shooting). Tony Parker had the same issue at 4-of-16 as they dared him to hit contested jumpers but sealed off the paint.
Spurs fans cling to the theory is that Manu Ginobili would change that if healthy. Maybe so. He would draw more defensive attention (although you can be the Grizzlies would still keep the paint packed).
It’s all kind of moot, at least for Game 2. Despite working out and it looking better, Ginobili’s sprained elbow is still sore and he considered doubtful for Game 2 Wednesday, according to the Express-News.
Which means the Spurs need to find a way to relieve the pressure on Parker — Memphis is not going to let him beat them. George Hill will have to be better (Tim Duncan had a good game and that was not enough). Hill, Richard Jefferson and Gary Neal need to have good games.
If the Grizzlies stick with being who they are, not try to do too much, they have a shot at this series.
Tuesday night against the Lakers, Gregg Popovich sat his three big stars and there were people saying that he was just tanking to make sure the Spurs avoided the Lakers in the second round.
He played them Wednesday night, to get them some run, and showed why it’s a good idea to sit them.
MRI results on Manu Ginobili’s right elbow show a sprain and he is now doubtful for Game 1 Sunday against the Grizzlies, according to a tweet from Mike Monroe in San Antonio.
The second game in that series is Wednesday.
San Antonio expects a tough first round match up against a Grizzlies team with a strong front line — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol — as well as some talented guys playing well on the wings, like Tony Allen. San Antonio will need Ginobili to get comfortably through this round.
Ginobili injured himself on a fall after colliding with Grant Hill just 2:14 into the game.