Parker day-to-day with back injury, will miss Minnesota and Dallas games

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Most of those watching the Spurs breeze past the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night cared far less about the result than they did offensive catalyst Tony Parker leaving the game in the first quarter with back spasms.

Gregg Popovich said after the game that Parker was to have an MRI on Monday and they would know the extent of the injury then.

Well, the results are in and it’s kind of, well, I don’t know. The Spurs announced on Monday afternoon that Parker has a sprained facet joint on his left side. This is easily the first time I’ve heard of a facet joint, so we’re checking off that box.

The team says Parker will be officially day-to-day after the Dallas game, meaning he didn’t make the trip to Minnesota, nor will he play against the Mavericks on Thursday. I would expect him to miss Friday night’s game against the Suns as well.

After that, the Spurs have just two regular season games remaining. Next Monday on the road against the Houston Rockets and next Wednesday at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before Sunday’s win over the Grizzlies, Popovich talked about wanting to get some of his core guys, specifically Kawhi Leonard, a brief increase in minutes during the last couple weeks of the regular season in order to make sure they’re in good shape for the playoffs. Pop had done his damnedest over the long haul to make sure his guys are fresh for the postseason, but if they’re not conditioned to play 40 minutes in the playoffs they’re still a risk for injury.

It’s a delicate balance and one that I don’t know the easy answer to. Parker will need some game action before the playoffs start. The earliest the playoffs will start is Saturday, April 19. I have a hard time believing that the right remedy for Parker is to sit out for two weeks and then jump right in to playoff basketball.

We’ll know more by Friday morning and while the Spurs will need to be careful with their go-to offensive player, this shouldn’t be the last we’ve seen of Parker before the playoffs.

  • Colin

    If the diagnosis is truthful, be very thankful it’s just a facet joint and not a disc issue. A sprained facet joint is easy to rehab and has no residual effects if done right.

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