Spurs' All-Star has Grade 2 sprain

Updated: November 7, 2003, 9:01 AM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS -- San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan will be out 1-3 weeks with a Grade 2 sprain in his left ankle.

Duncan sat out his second straight game as the Spurs played the Lakers Thursday night.

Though team officials have announced a lay-off of as long as three weeks, Duncan apparently was feeling better earlier on Thursday.

"He's already beating me over the head and shoulders that he's getting close (to being able to play), which I'm not going to buy," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Thursday. "I'm going to be really conservative with him, just like I've been with Tony (Parker)."

Popovich said Duncan will definitely miss home games against Dallas on Saturday and Utah on Monday before the team departs on a three-game trip to New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington.

Duncan left Monday night's game against the Grizzlies with the injury.

"He's got a grade two sprain, and they said one to three weeks, but I don't think it'll be quite that long," Popovich said. "Maybe sometime on that Eastern trip he'll be back."

Tony Parker, meanwhile, missed his sixth consecutive game and will not return until Monday at the earliest. Parker, who also has a sprained left ankle, planned to test it at practice Friday.

Duncan, who had 10 first-quarter points Monday, appeared to roll his foot after a shot with just over five minutes to play in the period.

He fell near the foul line and held his ankle before time was called.

"When you lose the MVP, it changes what you do because a lot of our menu revolves around Tim,'' said Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo after Monday's loss.

Duncan averaged 18.7 points and 16 rebounds in San Antonio's first three games.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press