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Manu Ginobili Injury: Spurs Star Could Miss More Time with New Rib Injury

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 19, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 28:  Guard Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs during play against the Los Angeles Lakers at AT&T Center on December 28, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs may have lost Manu Ginobili to another injury.

In a lockout-shortened NBA season, everybody is feeling the physical effects, but perhaps none have been hit harder by the injury bug than Ginobili, who has already suffered a broken hand this season.

It doesn't look like things are going to be getting any better for the Spurs star.

According to the Spurs' official Twitter, Ginobili strained his left oblique in the second half of Saturday's 103-101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The tweet read: "Manu Ginobili suffered a strained left oblique muscle in the second half of today's game. No update on him or Tiago Splitter at this time."

He did not return to the game, which had to be very unnerving for Spurs fans.

If that was unnerving though, this tweet from ESPN's J.A. Adande sourcing coach Gregg Popovich must have sent them over the edge: "Pop on Ginobili injury in rib area: think we lost him again."

What does Popovich mean, saying that Ginobili has been lost again?

Is he lost for a few games, for a few weeks? He can't be lost for the season, can he?

At this point, those questions remain to be answered. One thing is for certain, though: What has been a nightmare season for Ginobili is only going to get worse.

What It Means

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11:  (L-R) Tim Duncan #21 and Richard Jefferson #24 of the San Antonio Spurs look on from the bench against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on February 11, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledg
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Fortunately for the Spurs, they have found a way to win without Ginobili for a majority of this season and they still are in possession of first place in the Southwest Division, albeit by a small margin.

The best thing they can do is to keep taking it a game at a time, and they must win their divisional matchups. Dallas has yet to hit their stride, which I expect to happen, so every game is going to count.

What Happens Next?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 13:  Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after an injury in the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on April 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We find out the true extent of Ginobili's injury and move on with the appropriate response. The Spurs are used to playing without him by now, so there shouldn't be that much of a change.

That being said, he surely would help stave off the Mavericks and Grizzlies, and let's not even get started with the potential playoff implications of a long-term injury.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that the Spurs are in a good spot here with Ginobili going down yet again, but if there's an organization that can ride out the storm in this kind of situation, it's San Antonio.

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