This certainly isn't the way the San Antonio Spurs were hoping to start the season. According to a recent report, Manu Ginobili won't be available for the team's season-opening game against the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday evening.
UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
Manu Ginobili (lingering back issue) is expected to be available.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) November 16, 2012
Ginobili, who has been dealing with this injury for a while, played 19 minutes on Tuesday against the Lakers and shot 1-of-8 from the field.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 3:20 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
Ginobili, who has slowly been worked back into Greg Popovich's rotation, reportedly suffered a setback sometime after playing 28 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
The news comes from Mike Monroe of Spurs Nation:
Just as he was beginning to regain his feel for the game, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili again is experiencing some back pain and is questionable to play against the Lakers tonight at Staples Center.
If Ginobili is forced to miss any time, expect Danny Green, Gary Neal and Stephen Jackson all to see increases in their minutes.
---End of update---
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News has the news:
@manuginobili won't travel to New Orleans for opener; back to be reassessed Thursday— Mike Monroe (@Monroe_SA) October 29, 2012
Manu Ginobili has back spasms. Will not play tonight vs Wiz.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 26, 2012
Spurs fans have become quite accustomed to the exciting sixth man losing games to injuries. He missed nearly half of last season and seems to regularly battle various tweaks and strains.
When healthy, he remains one of the NBA's craftiest scoring guards, even at the ripe old age of 35. While injuries limited him to just 12.9 points per game last season (his lowest average since the 2003-04 season), he still is one of the league's most efficient scorers.
The Spurs have a lot of depth, and if Ginobili ends up missing significant time—at this point, that remains to be seen—Danny Green, Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard and Gary Neal will have to make up for his loss in production.
Remember, the Spurs finished tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the NBA last season (50-16) despite Ginobili missing 32 games. The Spurs would obviously prefer having him out on the court, but they should be able to fill the void while he's out.
Hopefully, this is just a minor injury and not the beginning of another injury-riddled season for the Argentinian star. Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have limited championship runs left in the tank at this point.
Here's to hoping Ginobili's tank doesn't run dry this year.