If Buck Harvey doesn't write a new column in one or two weeks, you know who to blame.
Here's Manu's latest article in La Nacion, talking about his injury, surgery, Pop, the Argentine NT, and calling out Buck Harvey.
Once again, thanks to urunobili for the translation.
“I will undergo surgery, but I would make the same decision of going to Beijing again”
Translation By Urunobili
San Antonio – Here I am, back in San Antonio, happy with the Bronze medal won in the games and ready to face a new season on the NBA. After I arrived they immediately did an MRI on my left ankle, more than anything to check how the ligament looked, if it was bigger or smaller than last time we checked or if it was damaged. Basically, the studies indicated that it’s just like it was two months ago when I got the first MRI. It is not worse which is important. Now the thing is it is not better either, and it looks that the only way for a total recovery is to undergo arthroscopic surgery.
There is still no timeline defined for the intervention, I do not know either what doctor will do it, but the thing is I must to do this. I was explained that they have to clean the area where the scar is and bring the ligament to its normal size for it not to bother any more. Today, the ankle doesn’t hurt when I walk, but it does when I jump or run. On these cases, the rehab period it’s from six to eight weeks, but I don’t know if on the eight week I’ll be ready to start playing or simply start training. I have the impression that I will make it for the season opener or maybe lose the first few games.
Apart from this situation I am in peace, I knew what was in stake; the plan was to be part of the Olympic Games and then, if I had any sort of pain, I would need to get surgery. It is not a surprise, and it is not that today I am saying “Uh I never thought I’d get an arthroscopic intervention!”
I know that a lot was talked about the subject, but I am sure of what I did, because it wasn’t an unilateral decision, it is something that it was talked with San Antonio Spurs coaching staff. I would make that same decision of going to Beijing again. I understand the frustration; I understand that is possible that I miss some matches. But being part of the Olympic Games is very important for any athlete. In my case, it made me more mature than what I was, it offered another life experience and I always felt I had to do it. Any athlete that has the possibility of experiencing an Olympic Game shouldn’t refuse it. There are some people who will understand and some other that won’t.
I had the chance to read some columns in a San Antonio communication medium, where I was criticized for my decision of going with the National Team to the games. It’s all good, I respect the journalist that is giving his opinion and who is paid to do such thing. To me, from my part, I have a very well formed opinion. The most important thing is that Gregg Popovich is on the same page with me and he is, at the end of the day my contractor to say it somehow. That’s why I am very confident about the way I proceeded, and I feel backed up by the people in San Antonio.
Sincerely, I was very surprised that Pop picked me up at the San Antonio International airport. I was not expecting it at all because it was 10:30pm, that here is considered very late. But of course I value his gesture, it is a shown of affection and class very important. When this approach with the coach happened I was talking to a group of journalists; he grabbed my arm and said: “let’s go, you have been traveling too much”. We then got into his SUV and talked on a very friendly way. So that’s how things look regarding the Spurs.
About the National Team, even with the happiness that meant that we were able to make it to the podium like in Athens 2004, I would have preferred to stay with the rest of the team a little more to celebrate, be together and then say goodbye. It was painful that we had to run all over the place after the Bronze medal game against Lithuania. We came back to the Village, changed our clothes, grabbed the medal our carry on luggage and then get in the plane right away. I didn’t like it at all, because after being together 60 days we didn’t enjoy of a moment of tranquility, without that responsibility of facing the following day another match. I would have liked to celebrate the medal in Ezeiza with everyone, but for different compromises with the foreign teams it was impossible to keep the while team together.
From the bottom of my heart, I have no idea how my career with the National Team will follow. I didn’t say anything after Athens 2004, nothing after Japan’s 2006 World Cup and I am not saying anything now, but I think that is convenient to separate things. In Japan I commented that my future on the team did not depend if we won gold or end up last in the tournament. This time either; being healthy or not now won’t be defining what I have done for the team on my career with them. Once the time arrives, it will all be evaluated. Before a big commitment you have to know where you stand physically. Like Pepe Sanchez did, he didn’t say what he would do until the occasion arrived. Then, and from there, he evaluated his physical conditioning and his spirit. I will do the same thing. Even more so I don’t think there is a big necessity to decide nothing right now, there are two years left for Turkey’s World Cup isn’t it?
I don’t think it’s convenient either to give my opinion about Sergio Hernandez, about if he should be or not leading the squad. What he definitively did is a great job. He begun his cycle with lots of doubts form the people and the press. But this Bronze medal gives him lots of credit; it certifies his conditions for the job. Let’s remember that he begun his job with the highest ceiling you could get, he took over a group that came from being Olympic Champion. I think in Beijing, Sergio conducted a great tournament. I insist; if he has to continue or not it’s going to be his decision and the Argentine Confederation one.
I am keeping in my heart also that the team is back at the number 1 position in the FIBA rankings. I don’t know how that stat is being calculated, it’s something huge. It’s incredible to be distinguished as a power house ahead of giants like the United States, Russia, Serbia, Lithuania and Spain. Our team starts renewing and rejuvenating, but I don’t know if the changes ahead will be as dynamic as they’ve been. At the moment we just have to enjoy it.