Tony Parker injures right knee, MRI reveals 'nothing serious'

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Spurs point guard injured his right knee in an exhibition game against Spain. Is it time for Parker to start thinking about sitting international competitions out?

UPDATE: He's fine. Carry On.

San Antonio Spurs point guard and offensive cornerstone Tony Parker suffered a right knee injury Monday during a Team France exhibition match against Spain. According to French website L'Equipe, Parker injured the knee, but managed to play through it and finished the game with 28 points in the 85-84 loss. The site also reports the injury doesn't appear to be serious. (H/T to our friends at Project Spurs for the linkage).

The MRI sounds merely precautionary, but it's not something any Spurs fan wanted to hear about. It also leads to the larger question: Should Tony Parker be playing in international competition this summer? I'm all for NBA players competing for their countries, but at some point should Parker take a summer off?

This probably would've been the summer to do it. Eurobasket qualifiers are important but Spain, France's chief rival in the Euro qualifier, is already headed to the FIBA World Cup next summer as the host country. France would've stood a good chance of qualifying for the FIBA games next summer with or without Parker.

Parker is also on the wrong side of 30, meaning these summers of international qualifiers will catch up with him faster than they did in previous years. Tack on a deep playoff run this past season, a likely playoff run into at least late May next season, followed by the FIBA World Cup and Parker's looking at nearly 18 months of nearly non-stop basketball. He could've taken this summer off and France may have still won Eurobasket, or at least have been one of the top six teams in Europe to qualify for the World Cup.

It's impossible to fault Parker for wanting to play. His national pride should be commended, as should his desire to be a leader for Team France. But really, he should take a page out of Gregg Popovich's playbook and sit out the rest of this summer to be ready for the NBA and World Cup games that matter next season.

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