Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Express News: Spurs' Parker Sits Out With Sore Achilles Tendon

By Mike Monroe

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spurs point guard Tony Parker did not suit up for Tuesday’s preseason game at Van Andel Arena because of minor soreness in his left Achilles tendon, but Coach Gregg Popovich called the decision to sit his star point guard strictly precautionary.

“He has a little Achilles thing that is bothering him a little bit,” Popovich said. “Nothing serious, but we’re not taking any chances.

“With (Manu) Ginobili out for a while, we don’t want to lose him, too. If that happened, I wouldn’t even want to go to the games. I’d just go have dinner and check the results in the morning.”

It may also have been Parker’s turn to watch from behind the bench in street clothes. He was the only starter who had played in the first two preseason games.

Tim Duncan, Fabricio Oberto, Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen had been held out of one, or the other.

Finley and Roger Mason also were held out of Tuesday’s game so Popovich could get a long look at the three young wing players battling for a roster spot.

The Spurs have carried 20 players since the start of training camp, but Popovich said he likely would make some cuts after the team returns to San Antonio after its game in Cleveland on Thursday.

“I think at the end of these two games we should probably start to trim it down in some way, shape or form,” Popovich said.

Thomas ready: Unless he reinjures the left hamstring that has kept him out of most of the preseason, veteran Kurt Thomas will make his debut for the Spurs in Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers.

“I’m definitely ready to do something besides watch the other guys play,” Thomas said. “I understand a hamstring (strain) is something you just have to be patient with. That’s an injury you really don’t want to rush, but I’m really ready to get away from ‘Brungy.’ That man is serious.”

Strength and conditioning coach Mike ‘Brungy’ Brungardt has been running Thomas and swingman Salim Stoudamire, nursing a right groin strain, through a rigorous conditioning program.

Isn’t it Grand: Popovich so enjoyed his two days in this Western Michigan city he sounded like the president of the local Chamber of Commerce.

“I’d never been to Grand Rapids before,” he said, “but I think it’s a really neat place. It’s beautiful from the hotel, all the hills around, with the colors of the trees.

“It’s just great. Really cool.”

Apparently the injury bug is not content to just leave well enough alone for the Spurs, but at least it doesn't sound like Parker's ailments are too serious. Hopefully this is just the Spurs getting all their bumps outta the way early.

Otherwise, we'll need the Coyote to suit up before too long.

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