By Ben Golliver
The Spurs announced Monday that guard Manu Ginobili suffered a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring during a 106-88 win over the Timberwolves on Sunday. Ginobili is expected to miss 10-to-14 days with the injury. If Ginobili is sidelined for 10 days, he would miss San Antonio's next five games. If he misses two weeks, Ginobili will sit out seven games.
Ginobili's non-contact injury occurred on a fairly fluky play just before halftime. Ginobili looked to run off teammate Tim Duncan at the high post and receive a dribble hand off, only to have his leg give way as he attempted to turn the corner on the Timberwolves' defense. He went straight to the floor and had to be removed from the game.
The Spurs are currently 29-11, good for third in the Western Conference, and hold a 2.5 game lead over the Grizzlies in the Southwest Division. Gregg Popovich has gone deep into his bench at times this season and can compensate for Ginobili, who has seen a fairly light minutes load this season, by increasing playing time for starting guard Danny Green or by turning to reserves Gary Neal, Patty Mills and Nando de Colo.
Ginobili, 35, has dealt with a series of injuries in recent years. After missing nearly half of last season due to various injuries, he missed the start of this season with back spasms and has dealt with a bruised quadriceps, a thigh contusion and a sore foot this season. He was also one of four players strategically rested by Popovich during a nationally televised game against the Heat, a decision which drew a $250,000 fine from NBA commissioner David Stern.
The two-time All-Star is averaging 12.9 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 24.4 minutes per game this season.
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