MIAMI (AP) — Tony Parker is taking another step toward returning to the San Antonio lineup.
The Spurs’ point guard, who hasn’t played since rupturing a tendon in his left quadriceps during last season’s Western Conference semifinals, practiced Wednesday in San Antonio with the team’s minor-league affiliate.
The Austin Spurs are holding their training camp at the Spurs’ facility, which gave Parker the chance to get a workout.
It is unclear how many times Parker will practice with Austin.
“He wants to come back immediately,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Wednesday in Miami, where the Spurs are playing the Heat. “But he knows he’s got to be prepared for it, be 100 percent before he can come back. It’s not an injury where you can come back too soon.”
Parker has been able to play some 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 in recent days, but the team has not released any timetable for when they expect to get their longtime starter back on the floor.
Parker was quoted Sunday in the San Antonio Express-News saying that his return will come “when Dr. Popovich says so.”
Parker was one of three Spurs players out for Wednesday – neither he nor All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard (right quad) have played yet this season, and Joffrey Lauvergne (right ankle sprain) is also sidelined after getting hurt Monday.
“I just don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about when somebody’s going to come back,” Popovich said. “They’re going to come back when they’re ready, when the docs say they’re ready. When it happens, it happens.”
When Parker does return, this will be his 17th NBA season – all with San Antonio. He’s a six-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion, who averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 assists last season.
For his career, Parker has averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 assists. He and Popovich have won 831 games together, the second-most for any player-coach combination in NBA history behind only the 1,001 victories that Popovich had with Spurs legend Tim Duncan.