Spurs Breathe Easy As MRI Clears Duncan


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HANG TIME, Texas — The citizens of San Antonio can go back to remembering the Alamo as the most tragic civic loss ever.

Tim Duncan will remain a part of the Spurs drive for a fifth NBA championship after an MRI showed no structural damage to his left knee. He has a sore knee, a mild right ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day for his return to the lineup.

The 36-year-old Duncan had to be carried off the court by teammates DeJuan Blair and Stephen Jackson with 3:54 left in the second quarter Saturday night after Washington’s Martell Webster rolled into the back of legs following a missed shot.

Though TV cameras showed Duncan moving under his own power in the hallway of the AT&T Center and many of his teammates said they were encouraged to see Duncan walk out of the locker room without crutches following the game, there was going to be lingering doubt until a full exam was performed on Sunday.

It’s just the latest example of how everything can change in the blink of an eye. The Spurs have been cruising along comfortably all season with Duncan having one of the best showings in years. San Antonio currently has the best record in the NBA at 38-11, two games ahead of Oklahoma City and 5 1/2 better than defending champion Miami.

With Duncan in the middle, the Spurs are again legitimate contenders for the title. His loss would have realistically ended those dreams.

Duncan was making his return after sitting for four games with a sore left knee. Duncan said he suffered that injury after landing wrong at Philadelphia on Jan. 21.

Recently selected to his 14th All-Star Game, Duncan is averaging 17.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks with a 24.9 Player Efficiency Rating in his 16th NBA season.

The Spurs will be without Duncan as they start on their annual rodeo trip, a nine-game trek with the All-Star break in the middle that opens on Wednesday night in Minneapolis. Now that trip will be ever tougher without Duncan, at least in part.

But for a city that had been holding its collective breath, a huge sigh of relief. The championship chase is still on.

14 Comments

  1. CanadaPride says:

    @drob50 Coach Pop is one of if not the best coach at limiting his player’s minutes. Tim has been very careful with his minutes. He was ready for the game earlier that week but took 3 days more off and then played against the wizards. It’s sports and injuries happen.
    Good to hear Timmy’s back! Let’s enjoy him while him we can

  2. Whose Team Is It says:

    I love that team. Most disciplined in the league. See the success that follows? Good role models beyond the court – GO ALL THE WAY SPURS!

  3. Felipe says:

    Just wondering if it’s going to be wise to let Duncan play in the All Star Game. I believe it will be better to miss it (it’s not like it matters), and give him a prolonged rest to return from the injury in good shape for the final stretch of the season and the playoffs. If that’s the case, who will replace him in the ASG??

  4. CHUCK NORRIS says:

    That could have been his career right there. Go TImmy!

  5. NBALogics says:

    Timmy got one of the best PER’s if not the best PER’s for a Power Forward in the game right now and doing it with limited minutes. Pops system for Timmy has worked good for the past couple of years, you gotta play him enough to keep him healthy and in game time mode but not so much that you tire him out before the play offs even happen. Biggest mistake I’ve seen in recent years was when the Bulls coulda played Derick Rose at the end of the season but didn’t after injury and expected him to go out there ans perform it doesn’t happen like that and he picked up one of the worst injuries in the game.

  6. busa-boss says:

    thank God…td’s injury not serious
    way to go tim

  7. theflowson says:

    @ drob50

    this injury has nothing to do with duncan playing too many minutes. This was in the 2nd quarter, not like it was at the end of the game. It was a freak accident, stuff like that can happen at any time, especially if a player collides on your knee, something bad is bound to happen. He averages only 29.8 minutes a game, less than probably any all-star in this league.

  8. ACQ15 says:

    As a fellow Spurs fan, drob50 has it all wrong. It is absolutely necessary for him to play the limited minutes he’s already playing in order to show the guys without nba final experience how to be consistent at all times (including the playoffs). Incidents happen in sports. A 38-11 record shows how Pop is one of the best coaches ever.

  9. drob50 says:

    Hell don’t do that timmy. Pop this is your fault, stop listing to tim and play him less. Tim wanted more minutes you gave it to him and now look. His in another bloody allstar game! First you pull the team out of the miami game and then you play Timmy too many minutes. Now with Baynes and splitter playing well you don’t need to play timmy so much. Hell we need him for the playoffs! Same with Parker, get Patty on the floor more it’s killing me with each time I see him hit the deck. ah, you have the best fans in the league we will forgive you if we only see these guys less than 30mins a night.

    • albstryker says:

      How about this. Don’t play him at all during the regular season, keep him fresh for the playoffs. Then he will be injury free but full of rust.

    • Watson says:

      You know man. Kobe is even much older than parker. Parker is only 31, no problem. Timmy is quite too old for that minutes indeed.

    • Denzo says:

      Calm down bro.. just let the professionals do their thing.. sheesh… man

  10. lol boston says:

    I’m glad he didn’t tear his ACL like rondo.

    • Imad Akel says:

      he should still sit out the all star game and have step curry replace him

      come on, it’s best for every one…