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Report: Jakob Poeltl has entered health and safety protocols

The San Antonio Spurs must learn how to cope without their defensive anchor.

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Spurs center Jakob Poeltl has entered health and safety protocols and will likely miss several games, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Poeltl has started every game for San Antonio, averaging career-highs in points (13.9), rebounds (9.7), assists (2.6), steals (0.9), and minutes (29.9) per contest while leading the team in total blocks (8).

The Austrian big man has arguably been the second-best player for the Silver and Black this season, and head coach Gregg Popovich will have to turn elsewhere to replace his production.

Drew Eubanks and Jock Landale make the most sense if San Antonio is looking for more traditionally sized centers. Thaddeus Young and Keita Bates-Diop could also play some small-ball five for the Spurs.

Poeltl joins fellow seven-footer Zach Collins on the injury report. And with no definitive timetable for the former’s return, San Antonio could struggle tremendously on the defensive end without their resident rim protector.

The Spurs had a lengthy battle with the NBA’s health and safety protocols last season that forced them to squeeze 40 games into 68 days following the All-Star break, and hopefully, this is an isolated incident.

As if this news wasn’t bad enough, San Antonio must now attempt to bounce back from their first blowout loss of the season without Jakob Poeltl as the Dallas Mavericks visit the AT&T Center tonight.