According to the website of "L'équipe" (the french sports daily newspaper) Tony Parker has been asked by the spurs to come back to San Antonio in order to check the ankle injury he sustained a few days ago during a game with the french national team.
This comes as a surprise, since the injury has been characterized as "minor" by the french medical staff, and TP was fully expected to play next week, as France is starting its round of matches to get a qualifying spot for the next european championship.
According to "l'Equipe", TP seemed "upset" as he was seen leaving the team to fly back to the US. The trip almost certainly means that TP won't be able to play the fist match of the qualifying campaign.
A few random thoughts and speculations on this :
1°) I'd like to know whether there are any contractual obligation for a player to renounce to a national team selection if asked by its NBA team. It has always seemed a very gray area in the otherwise very precise ( one might even say minutely detailed) world of the NBA when its comes about what a player can or cannot do. I understand that some players are getting insured in order to compensate their team in case of an injury sustained while playing for their country, but its doesn't seem to be systematic.
Almost every year some players give up playing in their national selection (often as their franchise explicit request), others do play but have to hear the more or less loud grumbling of their employers. And, of course, there are endless debates among the fans.
As more and more NBA are eligible for "country duties" its seems that the NBA should set up clear rules as the current situation appears to generate misunderstandings and even some degree of conflict, year after year.
2°) on the specific case of TP, my guess is that the Spurs Front office had more than cold feet about letting play international games this year, as they are spending quite a lot to make a serious run for the title next year. I don't think this would have happened had they decided to go into "transition mode" or to wait for the famed 2010 free agency fiesta.
3°) its also means that the Spurs believe they can't afford to lose TP to injury, which doesn"t reflect well on their depth at PG...
4°) Popovitch and Buford will better have to handle TP with care when he gets back as he really wants to play for "les bleus" and this kind of last minute "recall" will surely annoy him. My guess is that they will.