Manu Ginobili will miss at least a month after undergoing surgery today to treat a testicular injury he suffered in Wednesday’s game, the Spurs announced via press release. Joe Reinagel of KENS-TV in San Antonio reported earlier that Ginobili would be out for to six weeks, citing a team source. The team is already without Tim Duncan for an indefinite period of time as he recovers from a knee injury. The Spurs, at 41-8 and four games behind the Warriors with two weeks to go before the trade deadline, have encountered some of their most significant adversity of the season lately, losing by double digits to Golden State and the Cavaliers last week.
It’s too late in the season for San Antonio to apply for a disabled player exception, which wouldn’t have been in play anyway unless Ginobili was expected to miss the balance of 2015/16. The team doesn’t have enough injured players to qualify for a 16th roster spot via hardship, either, so the Spurs have limited means to compensate for the swingman’s absence. Ginobili, at 38, has remained a key contributor this season, averaging 10.0 points in 19.7 minutes per game.
The move figures to afford more playing time to Jonathon Simmons, who’s exceeded expectations as an undrafted rookie, and perhaps Rasual Butler, who’s on a one-year contract for the minimum salary. Ginobili has a player option worth nearly $2.941MM for next season.