Duncan expected to miss at least two games

Updated: March 21, 2005, 12:20 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- San Antonio star Tim Duncan crumpled to the floor with a sprained right ankle in the opening minutes Sunday against the Detroit Pistons.

Tim Duncan
Forward-Center
San Antonio Spurs
Profile
2004-2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
61 21.2 11.5 2.8 .499 .666

The Spurs said X-rays were negative and Duncan is day-to-day, but coach Gregg Popovich indicated he doesn't expect Duncan to return soon.

Before he left the arena, Duncan said he didn't know how serious the injury was. He missed two games earlier this month with a sprained right ankle.

Spurs officials told ESPN's Jim Gray that Duncan would miss at least the next two games -- Monday at New York and Wednesday at Indiana -- with a Grade-II ankle sprain.

"It's the same ankle that he sprained a couple weeks ago, but this was much worse," Popovich said after Detroit's 110-101 victory. "It's going to be a while."

While the Spurs traveled to New York for a game Monday night against the Knicks, Duncan flew back to San Antonio on a plane provided by the Pistons.

"That's huge. That's the kind of camaraderie that makes the NBA feel like a family," Popovich said. "There's the competition, and we all want to beat each other, but no one wants to see something like that happen. We were very impressed by the gesture, and we appreciate it very much. I'm sure Timmy does as well."

Duncan's ankle turned in gruesome fashion after he scored and landed on Rasheed Wallace's foot under the basket.

"I didn't know what happened to him," Wallace said. "I just saw him go down and heard him say, 'Ah!"'

Duncan immediately grabbed his right foot as he fell to the floor, where he stayed for a few minutes before being helped off without putting weight on his right foot.

After X-rays were taken, he was pushed in a wheelchair to San Antonio's locker room. The two-time MVP and NBA Finals MVP began the game averaging 21.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks this season.

While the Spurs traveled to New York for a game Monday night against the Knicks, Duncan flew back to San Antonio on a plane provided by the Pistons.

"That's huge. That's the kind of camaraderie that makes the NBA feel like a family," Popovich said. "There's the competition, and we all want to beat each other, but no one wants to see something like that happen. We were very impressed by the gesture, and we appreciate it very much. I'm sure Timmy does as well."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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