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Tim Duncan won’t join the Spurs for the NBA restart

The Big Fundamental opts out of the Orlando bubble to help San Antonio’s big man rehab.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Duncan did not travel with the San Antonio Spurs to Orlando for the NBA restart, according to Don Harris of News 4 San Antonio. Instead, the first-year assistant coach stayed behind with members of the medical staff to oversee LaMarcus Aldridge’s shoulder rehabilitation program.

The seven-time All-Star initially injured his shoulder in a game at Utah on February 21st, and after a six-game absence, rejoined the lineup for the final game before the pandemic-induced pause. Despite silence about his status for the majority of the break, the organization announced Aldridge underwent season-ending surgery during the hiatus and would miss the remainder of the 2019-2020 campaign recovering from the operation.

The loss of San Antonio’s second-leading scorer is a significant setback to their postseason plans, and their record-breaking 23rd straight playoff appearance will be on the line when they return to action against the Kings on July 31st. Before that, the good guys will have a chance to ease back into playing shape with a series of three scheduled scrimmages beginning July 23rd.

While Duncan and Aldridge won’t be joining Spurs at the Walt Disney World bubble campus, Gregg Popovich, Becky Hammon, and the rest of the roster arrived in Orlando on Thursday. And after a 48-hour quarantine period, the Silver and Black hit the hardwood for the first time in four months, preparing to complete the improbable task of securing the eighth seed out West.