Parker was expected to miss a substantial part of the season after he ruptured a left quadriceps tendon during the Western Conference semifinals, but now he hopes to return in November.
“In my mind, hopefully, I can be back by mid-November, end of November,” Parker said. “But overall, it’s great news. Because at first, the doctors thought it would be the end of January. So it’s still like great news.”
Team doctors were encouraged by the results of an MRI conducted Friday, but Parker he will need about two more months to strengthen the leg back into playing shape. The 35-year-old shortened his recovery time with a “very disciplined” rehab schedule that included weight training from 8 am to 1 pm each day.
Some observers were concerned that the injury might end Parker’s career, but he says he never gave any thought to retirement. He added that the most difficult part was not being able to help the Spurs in the conference finals against the Warriors.
“Never in my mind was I sad or I thought I would never come back,” Parker said. “All those people were saying that. But I didn’t even listen. Because I was more frustrated that I couldn’t be there for my team in the conference finals. That was the most frustrating for me. The rest, for me, in my mind, I was coming back. There was no way I wasn’t coming back.”
Parker credits the Spurs for helping with his recovery over the summer. He spent two months in his native France and the team sent two representatives to help him maintain his regimen.