A letter from Manu
I wanted to post this for all to read, as it has been a point of contention in the basketball world for Spurs fans and Argentine fans alike. It is such a bummer that one of the best to ever play the international game has to hang ’em up, but it’s for an absolutely understandable reason. Manu Ginobili has done so much for the sport of basketball on a global level, and I promise that lasting impact will dwarf the pain of his absence in this World Cup. Cheers, Manu. It was a brilliant, magical run.
Please consider, this is a rough translation. Please save the criticism unless there is an egregious issue. Thanks.
“THE PAIN REAPPEARED IN THE FIBULA, AND I DROPPED OUT OF THE WORLDS”
By Manu Ginóbili | www.canchallena.com
A few months ago, after winning the Championship in the NBA with San Antonio, I posted a Tweet saying “I’m in”, referring to the next World, in Spain. The truth is that I finished the Finals in fairly good condition, was euphoric, and wanted to be with the boys one last time. I never imagined what was to come. After that announcement, in the regular medical examination at the end of the season, an almost of routine MRI was made because of suspicion about the presence of a stress fracture in the fibula, and a few days later, on my return from vacation, a CT scan confirmed it.
The Spurs automatically asked me not to play in the World, but I did not give more importance. I understood clearly their logical concern but not with the deadlines for recovery that the franchise physicians advised in their report. I looked for second opinions qualified on the subject and I was given to understand that the fracture was small and that forty days since the last game against the Heat until the first day of concentration in Buenos Aires were more than sufficient to heal completely.
As it is already known, and according to what had been agreed with the Spurs, July 25 I got a new MRI and another CT scan to see the progress in the area of the lesion, and local doctors gave me optimism and good news. Things looked good at the moment, but I was missing the word of the franchise after evaluating these new reports.
There is an article in the NBA/FIBA agreement on the participation of players in their national teams that says: “the players are not allowed to participate with a national team in training or competition when there is a reasonable medical concern that such participation will put the player at substantial risk of injury, disease, or other damage”.
This clause made it complicated for me, because they already had the legal power to forbid me to play the world.
The response was not expected. They said that given the images received, they were not able to make sure that the injury was healed and that there remained a “reasonable concern”. Therefore, they were prohibiting me to play.
I think we only had one card to play in this situation, which was to ignore the order of San Antonio and find a sort of mediation with a doctor assigned by FIBA to define whether such “concern” was reasonable or not, something subjective, true.
It was the logical thing. Although it could generate a problem for me subsequently with San Antonio, it was the only chance. But here comes in another delicate situation for me and ultimately for the whole issue. For the bone to be well healed and not remain any doubts, I had spent 42 days without being able to train as usual, no jumping or running, so as not to put stress on the fibula. And that made me reach the training camp in a painful physical condition. When one is 37 years old, it is not easy to return and start from nothing, so we tried to accelerate a little at a time. I started the physical work in the pool acceptably, but when I went to the treadmill there began to emerge some pain, mostly in the right ankle and left foot. I did a lot of treatment and a lot of stretching, and it seemed to be a little better, but when on Wednesday I began to force more to run and shoot in the gym, at the end of the training session the pain reappeared in the same place of the original fibular fracture. That basically gave the final blow to the expectations I had to assemble some kind of plan to play in Spain, since asking the mediation of FIBA made almost no sense given that obviously the injury isn’t completely healed.
I very much regret the bad news. I am sad and disappointed. I wanted to say goodbye to the team on the court and be with my friends, but it cannot be. I’ll be with the team as long as possible, trying to add from the outside and supporting at all times, as surely, both in matches of preparation in the Technopolis and in Bahía Blanca, as will you, and on television during the Championship..
Thanks to our friend Jane Ann Craig for providing this translation.