According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Manu Ginobili has been "diagnosed with the early stages of a stress fracture" and may not be able to play for Argentina in the FIBA World Cup. Ginobili had struggled over the decision whether to join his countrymen before finally deciding to play, but his body apparently had other ideas.
The news comes on the heels of yesterday's revelation that Patty Mills had played through pain in his right shoulder that will now require rotator cuff surgery. It seems as though the Spurs didn't really put their injury issues behind them last February when they seemed to put the injury bug behind them before riding their healthy roster to San Antonio's fifth NBA Championship.
Ginobili will pursue a second opinion, but if he's not cleared to play, he will likely be out for about two months. That's too late to Argentina win the one tournament that's eluded them, but it would be just in time for the start of training camp at the end of September.
Without a doubt, it's bad news for him and Argentina, but Spurs fans have to be breathing a sigh of relief -- especially since Mills' injury is expected to keep him out through the majority of next season, possibly until March. For Ginobili to be kept safe from further injury and rested for the entire off-season -- well, it's the best possible news for fans who were concerned about another summer tournament for the future Hall of Famer who will turn 37 at the end of this month.
Update: Manu took to Twitter to address his injury:
La lesión existe pero mi participación en el mundial dependerá de cuánto mejore en estos 20+ días. Sigo siendo optimista.— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) July 2, 2014
The translation is roughly this:
@manuginobili "The injury is real but my participation in the WC will depend on how much it heals in the next 20 days. I remain optimistic."— Jesus Gomez (@JejeGomez_PtR) July 2, 2014
This is the worst possible outcome for the Spurs. Before the injury, Manu playing was only a bit risky. Manu not playing after the injury was discovered was ideal. Now Ginobili will try to heal in time for the World Cup, which means it's impossible to know what he will decide to do until he makes that decision.
At this point, the only thing to do is trust Manu's judgment. He is seeing the best doctors available and they will guide him. Whatever decision he ends up making, let's hope it's the right one.