By Ben Golliver
Spurs All-Star guard Tony Parker will miss roughly a month with an ankle injury.
The Spurs announced Saturday that an MRI revealed that Parker suffered a Grade 2 left ankle sprain during a Friday night win over the Kings in San Antonio and will miss "approximately four weeks."
Parker's injury occurred with a little more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, as he went coast-to-coast for a weaving lay-up in transition. After making the running basket, Parker's left foot came down on the left foot of Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, rolling over badly.
The race for the top seed and homecourt advantage in the West could tighten in light of the injury. San Antonio currently owns the NBA's best record at 46-14, holding a three-game lead over Oklahoma City for the Western Conference's No. 1 seed. If Parker misses exactly four weeks, he will be sidelined for San Antonio's next 12 games. The good news for San Antonio is that 10 of those 12 games are at home; the bad news is that seven of the 12 are against teams currently projected to make the playoffs, including the Thunder, Clippers and Bulls. If Parker returns on schedule, he would have a little less than three weeks to prepare for the postseason.
Parker, 30, is averaging 21.0 points, 7.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and shooting 53.3 percent from the floor. He's found his name in the MVP conversation in recent weeks and he placed No. 2 on The Point Forward's top ten point guards list this weekend.
Coach Gregg Popovich has three young point guards to turn to in Parker's absence: Patty Mills, Cory Joseph and rookie Nando de Colo. Between them, the trio has just nine career starts. Mills is averaging 4.5 points in 10.2 minutes in 49 appearances; Joseph is averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 assists in 7.2 minutes in 11 appearances; and de Colo is averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 assists in 11.8 minutes in 52 appearances.
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