Gregg Popovich sat glumly on his bench, barely moving as he stared at the calamity that materialized barely two minutes into his team's game Wednesday night.
As Manu Ginobili crumpled to the floor clutching his right elbow, Popovich and all of Spurs Nation worried about the severity of the injury.
It was the kind of play you've seen Ginobili involved in countless times during his career where's he earned the nickname "El Contusion" for his toughness.
The injury occurred with 9:46 left in the first quarter when Ginobili was coming around a pick set by Tim Duncan. While sweeping around Duncan, he appeared to get his right arm caught between the Spurs captain and Phoenix's Grant Hill.
Ginobili stayed down for an extended period before he was taken to the Spurs' locker room for treatment. The early diagnosis was a hyperextended elbow. X-rays taken at America West Arena were negative and he's scheduled to have an MRI performed when the team returns to San Antonio on Thursday.
Throughout his career, Ginobili has had a remarkably high pain threshold. The elbow injury could test him, however, in what is shaping up to be a potential bruising playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs had hopes of clinching homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over Phoenix and a successful coin flip. When Chicago pulled out a dramatic comeback over New Jersey shortly before tip-off, it might have been a signal to reconsider playing key players like Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili in the final game of the season.
Manu's injury shows why sitting key players makes sense
San Antonio Express-News | Apr 14