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Manu Ginobili Injury: Updates on Spurs Star's Shoulder and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2014

San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, of Argentina, talks to the media during an NBA basketball media day at the team's practice facility, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Manu Ginobili missed a Dec. 6 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a shoulder injury. He would return to action against the Utah Jazz, but has been in and out of the Spurs' lineup ever since. Ginobili would play 41 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 17.

Continue for updates.

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Ginobili Returns vs. Memphis 

Manu Ginobili returned to the court on Wednesday and notched 21 points, eight rebounds and 8 assists in 41 minutes of action as the Spurs fell to the Grizzlies 117-116 in triple OT.

Monday, Dec. 15

Ginobili Out vs. Blazers

The NBA on ESPN Twitter account confirmed Manu Ginobili's status for tonight's game against the Portland Trail Blazers:

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Ginobili Out vs. Knicks

ESPN 1250 in San Antonio confirms Manu Ginobili will miss tonight's game against the New York Knicks:

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Saturday, Dec. 6

Ginobili Misses T'Wolves Game With Shoulder Injury 

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will not play vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday due to a shoulder injury.

Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune and Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News have the details:

The Argentine is in the midst of what many feel could be his final NBA season. His two-year, $14.5 million contract with the Spurs expires after this season, and it's fair to wonder how much this Spurs core has left in the tank.

Tim Duncan is also heading into the final year of his deal, leaving Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker as the only stalwarts under contract past the 2014-15 campaign.

Ginobili remains an effective player, nearly perfectly maintaining his per-minute averages as he ages, but the flashes of brilliance are more unpredictable and intermittent. San Antonio in part was able to dismantle the Miami Heat in last year's Finals because Ginobili was able to be effective for four of the five games.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

"The challenge is the same as always," Ginobili told reporters before the season. "We always want to win, regardless of what happened the year before, the difference this year is that we really finished at a high level. 

That said, the Spurs being without Ginobili is far from a new concern. He has missed double-digits in games each of the past three seasons, very few of which were out of a Popovichian disdain for the regular season.

In July, the Spurs also exercised their contractual right to prevent Ginobili from playing for Argentina in the FIBA World Cup due to a stress fracture in his leg.

Losing Ginobili at this point in the season will thrust more responsibility the way of Marco Belinelli and Cory Joseph, who will likely divvy up Ginobili's bench minutes.

Belinelli will slot in as the primary backup to Danny Green, with Joseph taking the ball-handling duties that typically go to Ginobili when he takes over a pseudo-point guard role.

The benefit of San Antonio's roster is that it can withstand these absences. As long as Ginobili is back in action for May and June, Popovich won't blink much about keeping him out of the lineup. That's the beauty of the Spurs; lose a future Hall of Famer, don't miss a beat. 

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