Manu Ginobil broke a bone in his left hand during the Spurs’ 106-96 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday, and there is no timetable set for his return according to a team release. Just as a reminder, Ginobili is left handed, so this is his shooting hand.
Ginobili suffered the injury on a defensive play, reaching in on a drive from the Wolves’ Anthony Tolliver.
It didn’t look too bad initially, but the hit caused a fracture to the fifth metacarpal, which is the bone just below the pinky finger. Ginobili will be examined further in San Antonio on Tuesday. James Anderson will start in his place.
This is a severe blow to the 3-2 Spurs, as Ginobili leads the team in multiple offensive categories, including scoring at 17.2 points per game, field goal percentage (.592) and three-point field goal percentage (.519). When you add in the fact that Ginobili is fantastic at creating for himself or his teammates off the dribble with the ball in his hands, his contributions will be sorely missed, no matter how long he’s out.
Manu Ginobili working out but not back on court yet
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.)
Ginobili says he played with broken arm in playoffs
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.
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.
The Spurs played their regular starting lineup in their season finale against the Suns on Wednesday, after resting four of the five in the team’s game the night before in Los Angeles. Two minutes and 14 seconds into the game, it’s quite possible Gregg Popovich may have regretted that decision.
Manu Ginobili went down hard after colliding with Grant Hill, and stayed down while clearly in pain and clutching his right elbow. Ginobili remained lying on the court through a full timeout, while a member of the team’s medical staff attended to the injury.
Ginobili briefly headed to the team’s bench, before heading back to the locker room. After further examination, the team announced that Ginobili’s injury is a hyperextended right elbow, with X-rays negative, and an MRI scheduled for Thursday when the team returns to San Antonio.
The decision to play the starters in the Spurs’ final game is mildly questionable, because if the team truly had its eyes on the league’s best record, it wouldn’t have rested its stars Tuesday against the Lakers. But having a final tune-up before the postseason with the number one unit is as good a reason as any, and Popovich, being one of the league’s most tenured and well-respected coaches, clearly knows the risks.
Just as we did with Andrew Bynum’s knee injury on Tuesday, we’ll hope for the best for Ginobili, and that he’ll be able to be back at 100 percent and ready to go when the playoffs begin this weekend.