Spurs' Ginobili, out after ankle surgery, could return next week

Updated: November 21, 2008, 11:22 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Manu Ginobili could return to the San Antonio Spurs' lineup next week, earlier than expected after he had surgery on his left ankle in September to repair ligament damage.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would not specify Ginobili's projected return, but he did say Ginobili has recovered more quickly than expected.

Ginobili said Friday he'd like to play in the Spurs' next game Monday night in Memphis. Popovich said he doesn't think that will happen.

"When he's ready, that's when he's going to play," Popovich said. "And, right now, he's not ready."

Ginobili had arthroscopic surgery repair to repair a ligament he re-injured while playing for Argentina in the Olympics. Ginobili was slowed by the injury during the Spurs' Western Conference finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Spurs also are missing point guard Tony Parker. Parker, sidelined by a sprained left ankle, still is expected to be sidelined through the first week of December.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press