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"Spurs look toward training camp"

By Daniel Strickland on October 2, 2006.

Elizabeth White writes for the Associated Press:

Spurs guard Tony Parker said Friday the finger he broke last month while preparing for the world championships is “100 percent.”

“I’m fully healed, 100 percent, the bone is back to normal,” Parker said. “The doctors told me I can go as hard as we can and practice normally.”

“Everybody’s got to go through Dallas until somebody beats them,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said.

Parker said the loss to Dallas is a motivator.

“So now we just have to get back to what we do,” Parker said. “It’s different when you’re not the defending champs.”

The team made several roster changes this summer, including trading center Rasho Nesterovic and cash to Toronto for forwards Matt Bonner and Eric Williams and a second-round pick in 2009 and signing two centers — 7-footer Francisco Elson and 6-foot-10 Jackie Butler — after their top two centers departed. Nazr Mohammed signed with Detroit as a free agent.

“We’ve been working out with the guys and so far so good, but it’s nothing until you get in a game situation and are able to see what they’re going to do in a game situation,” said forward Tim Duncan. “I like who we’ve added.”

Duncan, who has also had his share of health problems, being hobbled by plantar fasciitis, also said he’s “100 percent.”

“I have no pain whatsoever,” he said of his foot on Friday.

Beyond training camp next week and even the Mavs in early November, the Spurs have their eye on the same thing past champions always do: the next big win.

“I don’t believe that the fact of not having won it last year is going to make people forget about us,” guard Manu Ginobili said. “Everybody is going to be still thinking about the Spurs as being one of the contenders.”

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