Tony Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon during the playoffs, and for a guy about to turn 35 it was a fair question to ask if that was going to be the end of his career. Parker didn’t want to leave that way, had surgery, and from the start said he would be back in January.
Sounds like he is still on that timeline.
Parker spoke to Argentinian TV LPG TV (via NBC’s News 4 in San Antonio) about his planned return.
“It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s getting better and better. I’m starting to run like a little bit. I’m walking pretty well. I think it’s still going to be a long process. It’s still going to take like another four or five months but I am very happy in with the progress. I am in advance in my rehab.”
Four to five months would mean on the early end around Christmas, and more likely a January return.
The Spurs re-signed Patty Mills this summer and he will start — which isn’t a bad thing. The other four primary starters for the Spurs last year (LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green) were more than 16 points per 100 possessions better when teamed with Mills instead of Parker (there’s some small sample size issues there, and in the playoffs they were much better with Parker). Substitute Mills in for Parker with the Spurs other starting five (where Dewayne Dedmon started and Gasol came off the bench) and those starters were nine points per 100 better with Mills (again, small sample size in the regular season).
Which is to say, don’t be shocked if Parker comes off the bench for the Spurs next season if things are going well upon his return.