Practice Drills: Manu Ginobili to have surgery, out 6-8 weeks
While the San Antonio Spurs prepare for the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow morning, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will be undergoing surgery to mend the broken left hand he sustained in Monday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“They have to put it back together again, it’s broken,” San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s going in in the morning, they’re going to do what they do, and 6-8 weeks is the most common thing that’s been thrown around so I assume that’ll be what it is.”
In Manu’s absence the San Antonio Spurs will start second year guard/forward James Anderson and have pushed forward the return of Gary Neal, who was scheduled to play a few games with the Austin Toros in a rehabilitation stint, to shore up the backcourt depth.
“If Manu was healthy, Gary would have played a couple of games in Austin without a doubt,” Popovich said. “With Manu’s injury since [Neal] is cleared to go five-on-five we figured we might as well go ahead and throw him into the fire.
“But he’s not coming early in the sense of he’s not ready to go. But he would have played a few games in Austin for sure.”
Anderson had a strong training camp and has appeared assertive in games so far this season, playing active defense and showing glimpses of an ability to create his own shot, even if hasn’t been able to convert them efficiently at 37.5% from the field and 18.8% from behind the three-point line.
“I can’t do what Manu does, what Manu does is a whole different thing,” Anderson said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, playing both ends of the court, and play the same way I’ve been playing.
“I think I’m more prepared than I was last year. I didn’t really know what to expect going into each game like I do this year. I fit in better with the flow of the game. My past has changed and I feel more comfortable in my role.”
Spurs sign Ike Diogu: With only four available big men on the roster, the Spurs have shored up their front court depth with the addition of forward Ike Diogu.
“We only have four bigs, that’s a bit lopsided for any team,” Popovich said. “He’s a good person and a solid big that understands the game so we’ll see how it goes.”
Diogu, a former no. 9 overall pick by the Golden State Warriors, has been a popular end of the bench guy amongst stat head for his ability to score points efficiently in a very limited amount of minutes. In San Antonio, Diogu provides another big body to bang in the trenches and perhaps a quick source of points on those wrong ends of back-to-backs when Duncan needs more of a rest.
“That’s what I’ve done my entire career,” Diogu said. “I’m a low post presence able to use either hand around the basket, grab offensive rebounds, that type of thing.
“I think people are going to be surprised with what I can do away from the basket. But first and foremost I’ll provide a big body down low.”