Injuries suck, as last year's frustration with Tiago Splitter often reminded us, and they're even worse when little light is shed on them. That's why it doesn't hurt to dig a little deeper in the case of new Spurs center Boban Marjanovic who, after an MRI, was diagnosed with significant bony edema in his left ankle.
Are you a doctor?
No, and by no means should an evening of surfing the net for articles on pathology and the human anatomy be taken with anything but the finest grain of bath salts. To remove any misinterpretation of legitimacy from this humble analysis, it might help to read this article in the voice of Justin Long's character from Idiocracy.
What's wrong with Boban?
He's got swelling within one or a few of the bones in his left ankle, which can be the result of a few things (namely, a direct, isolated injury or a stress injury).
Reports surfaced about the big man having played through a fractured foot in the Serbian League finals. While no fracture was found in the MRI performed by the Spurs, the team's medical staff along with outside specialists, determined that playing in Eurobasket 2015 was too dicey for his long-term health, a call they're allowed to make within the agreements between FIBA and the NBA.
Does his agent agree?
Marjanovic's agent Misko Raznatovic addressed the team's diagnosis on Twitter:
Dakle za sve ljude bez mozga, niko nema interes da Bobi ne igra EP. I potpuno se ne slazemo se misljenje iz SA I radi se o apsurdu— Misko4Raznatovic (@MiskoRaznatovic) August 4, 2015
Pokusavamo da dokazemo da je snimak noge isti kao I pre 2 god I da nije posledica povrede a nego prirodne structure stopala coveka od 222cm— Misko4Raznatovic (@MiskoRaznatovic) August 4, 2015
Ukoliko uspemo u zajednickim naporima, koji su makksimalni spremni smo da udjemo u rat I pored veoma teskog teksta ugovora Fiba - Nba— Misko4Raznatovic (@MiskoRaznatovic) August 4, 2015
I necu nijjednu rec vise da kazem o ovome, a ljudi u Kss koji su nadlezni za ovo, znaju koji napor I gimnastiku pravim da igrac nastupi!— Misko4Raznatovic (@MiskoRaznatovic) August 4, 2015
Don't speak Serbian? That's OK. I Googled that, too:
So for all the people with no brains, no one has an interest in Bobby plays EP. I completely disagree the opinion of the SA and it is about the absurd... Trying to prove that the recording feet same as 2 years and that is not a result of injury than the natural structure of the foot of a man 222cm... If we succeed in the joint effort, which makksimalni we are ready to get into the war Despite very heavy text of the treaty FIBA - NBA... And I will nijjednu word more to say about this, and the people in Kss who are responsible for this, I know that the effort gymnastics true that players perform!
Suffice it to say, his agent is not happy. It's hard to say how much he objected as a Serbian national and how much his frustration is shared by Boban. Google couldn't tell me.
Back to the injury -- what other players have had it?
Dwight Howard and Andrew Bogut have both recently dealt with bony edema in their knees, but a comparison would seem pointless. Obviously ankle and knee injuries can be serious and recurring issues for grown men who are pushing their bodies to such limits, as the premature end to Yao Ming's career affirmed.
What we can intuit is from the Spurs' stance. Aside from holding Manu out due to a stress fracture last year, the organization has rarely interfered with its players participating in international play. That includes letting Tony Parker play in the Olympics shortly after nearly losing an eye in a Drake-Chris Brown nightclub melee.
What are the implications for the team next season?
Of course, a person's well-being is most important, followed by their ability to make a living. But afterwards, there's the impact this will have on the court next season for the Spurs.
Boban represented the chance for San Antonio to groom another defensive anchor - one who could diversify the team's lineups a bit and give Tim Duncan that much more rest towards the end of the regular season. There were concerns about his defense, sure, but that's not to say a guy that size, and still only 26, couldn't develop a few good habits and carve out a role within the rotation.
Now, Aron Baynes and Tiago Splitter are gone, and on nights when Timmy sits, the team will be rolling with small ball more than ever. Even if Marjanovic's ankle issues prove not to be serious, you have to imagine the team will be pretty cautious with easing him in.
For now the team will wait a few weeks and see. Meanwhile Boban will be wearing a custom-fit boot that, I presume from this tweet, is the size of a small plane:
Marjanovic must wear aircraft boot for a few weeks, then re-do MRI, obtain custom orthotics for shoes.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) August 4, 2015