What follows is a translation of Manu Ginobili's column which ran on Feb. 12 in the Argentine newspaper La Nacion.
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Luckily the worst part is over and I'm definitely much better now. The first week, which everyone told me was going to be tricky and hard to endure, is now over. It really was tough, especially the first three days. There was a lot of pain, a lot of discomfort. As the hours went by, things started to improve and now I have a better quality of life, as I can do everything normally. I can walk, I can drive -- I can do pretty much anything. I was on bed rest for the first few days, always horizontal and suffering a lot of discomfort.
I'm recovering. It's a matter of time now, to see how the area improves and how everything heals. It was a serious, invasive procedure, which is why it will take a while to recover from it. The doctors still have no idea how long it will take. It will basically come down to how much pain I can handle and when the discomfort stops. There are not a lot of cases like this one, just a handful. So all we know is it will take a minimum of four weeks. Whether it takes less time or more will be determined by how fast it gets better. There is no timetable.
I'm more relaxed and in a better mood now that everything is already taken care of. I'm in a point in my life in which I don't get as anxious about things. I was just concerned about my health. I know it will take a while to get back and I know I can't rush things. When I get to be a week or 10 days away I'll probably get more impatient. I also know that I will have to work on my conditioning, which is my least favorite thing to do, but I understand that I just have to do it. That will be tricky but for now, I'm enjoying my health and my family.
I want to get better as soon as possible and I'm lucky I have the best nurse to help me with that: Many (Oroño, Manu's wife), who takes on everything without complaining. We had the bad fortune that this happened in winter, when at least one of the kids always has a cough or some other seasonal ailment, so she had to be everywhere at once. It was amazing how she handled it. Now I'm mobile and can help a bit more, but for seven days I was just another baby in the house.
Even through the discomfort, I kept up with what was going on with the team, like I always do. I think our performance is within the expectations we had for ourselves. We knew this stretch was going to present us with tough challenges, as we were facing two opponents that could beat us in Golden State and Cleveland. But that's really not a problem. We did lose decisively against them and were outplayed badly, which always hurts. But it wasn't such a dramatic experience. We didn't have to revise our approach or anything. We just lost a couple of games and the team got back to winning the games we were supposed to win. We didn't always play well, like against the Lakers, but that happens during a long season.
We started the Rodeo Road Trip with back-to-back wins against opponents that aren't that tough but won't beat themselves. We got a solid win against Miami and then, without playing well, took care of Orlando on the last play. We didn't have Tony for that last game and Tim was coming back after being out seven or eight games. So I think we are doing well. We are in good shape.
I didn't like losing to the other contenders but we knew it could happen. We are still a solid team and we have a great record. I even think it's the best record ever for the franchise. It doesn't mean this is the best Spurs team ever but we have to be doing something right. So even though we lost to direct rivals like Oklahoma City, Golden State, Cleveland, Toronto and Chicago, we are not worried. We are focused, though, and it's a good thing we are not overconfident. We have to get better to beat the best teams. We are aware that we can't get sloppy against the other contenders, because if we lose our focus, they will cook us in five minutes. But we still have a record above 80 percent, which is amazing.
I know everyone is talking about how great Golden State is and we found out about it the hard way. People wonder what it would take to stop them and it really doesn't seem possible. Obviously Curry can't have a good night. But the rest of the team can't have a good night either, like they had against us and in so many other games. I don't know if there's a way to beat them, but for now I don't care. I would in May or June. Beating them now only counts as one win, nothing more. They are going through a great stretch, playing truly extraordinary basketball and showing tremendous confidence and team spirit. But we'll try to figure out how to beat them only when it's do-or-die time.
I'm following the team from home, which is a strange feeling. It's been a tricky stretch too, because I had to stay home for the first three days and couldn't drive for a week. So now that I could get to see my teammates, they are on vacation and when they get back, they will have to be on the road for 10 more days. I won't be able to see them until Feb. 27. It's weird not being around the team. Through texts, jokes and comments I'm staying in touch with everyone but it will be a while before we meet again.
I know people were worried about me, especially in Argentina. I want to thank everyone who showed their concern through social media. Everyone took it as a joke at first, as it tends to happens with situations like this one, but when news came out that I had to have surgery I received nothing but affection and well wishes.
Luckily, the worst part is over. It was rough and I had a hard time but now I'm doing better and I'm in good spirits, which is key. I'm going to enjoy my time with my family until I'm ready to get back to the court to compete. That's not a priority at the moment and I know it will take a while to happen. Right now, I'm patiently waiting for my time.