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Manu Isn’t Happy and Neither Are We

By Daniel Strickland on January 5, 2012.

(AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani)

Some good news today…

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that guard Manu Ginobili underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand this morning in San Antonio. He is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

The bad news?

Ginobili is expected to miss SIX WEEKS. With the lockout-shortened season, six weeks translates into about 25 games. In other words, if Ginobili recuperates on schedule and is back by mid-February, the season will be half over by then.

Last night’s come-from-behind win against the Warriors didn’t prove much, except that the Spurs can still beat mediocre teams, even without Manu on the court.

It’s difficult to say for sure, but maybe about a third of the next 25 Spurs opponents are as mediocre as Golden State: Milwaukee (1/17), Phoenix (1/15), Sacramento (1/20), New Orleans (1/23, 2/2), New Jersey (2/11), and Detroit (2/14).

Ten of the next 25 games are in San Antonio, so one hopes that the hometown fans will help the Spurs find ways to win a few against better teams: Denver (1/7), Houston (1/11, 2/1), Portland (1/13), Atlanta (1/25), and Oklahoma City (2/4).

The Spurs have a tough nine-game stretch on the road from 2/6 to 2/23. Hopefully Ginobili will be able to rejoin the team by then, but it will take weeks longer for him to get back into the swing of things.

There are two things we know for certain about Manu Ginobili: he’s a tough son of a bitch and has the heart of a champion. If he can play, he will. And he wants to win.

The Spurs face the Mavericks tonight and Vegas odds makers favor the San Antonio by 1-1/2. It should be an interesting test for the new Manu-less Spurs. Let’s see if players like James Anderson, T.J. Ford, Gary Neal and Danny Green can build on the promise they showed against the Warriors last night.

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