In their match-up against the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan came down on the foot of Piston forward Rasheed Wallace and collapsed to the floor, in the opening moments of the Spurs 110-101 defeat. This may have cost him his ability to play for the rest of the regular season.
Spurs forwards Sean Marks and Tony Massenburg had to carry Duncan to the locker room because he was unable to put weight on his right ankle.
This was the third time he sprained his right ankle this season and the second time this month. His second ankle sprain forced him to miss two games.
“It’s the same ankle he hurt previously and he really did a number on this one,” said Coach Gregg Popovich, according to FoxSports.com. “It’s not broken, but he can’t walk on it or anything right now.”
The Spurs doctors did take X-rays on Duncan’s right ankle during the game on Sunday and they turned out negative.
Duncan, upon getting X-rays on his right ankle, was flown back to San Antonio to begin treatment, while his teammates headed to New York to face the Knicks, where they lost 88-75. According to NBA.com, the Spurs went a period of 11 minutes in the second half without making a field goal. In that period, they missed 12 straight shots and turned the ball over nine times.
For at least the next two-four weeks, the Spurs will be without their offensive and defensive anchor after he was placed on the injured list following an MRI exam. Duncan was the Spurs leading scorer and rebounder averaging 21.2 ppg 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. He may sit out the rest of the regular season.
Despite not having their leading scorer and rebounder, the Spurs were able to hang tough with the Pistons and the Knicks.
If the Spurs have any chance of getting that top seed in the West and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, they will have to do it without Duncan. In the four games he has missed, the Spurs have lost four out of those five games.
“We’ve played without him before, and we just have to keep going,” said guard Tony Parker. “It’s not like we have a choice. Our other big guys (Nazr Mohammed, Rasho Nesterovic, Tony Massenburg and Sean Marks) will have to do more and the rest of us will have to step up.”