Spurs' Tim Duncan sprains left ankle

Updated: March 22, 2011, 2:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs forward Tim Duncan sprained his left ankle Monday night against Golden State after coming down awkwardly on the foot.

X-rays were negative. Duncan did not return to San Antonio's 111-96 victory over the Warriors.

Duncan
Duncan

The 34-year-old All-Star fell and immediately reached for his left foot after landing on the foot of Ekpe Udoh following a short jumper early in the first quarter. Duncan lay on his side, clutching his foot with both hands, for more than a minute before being helped into the locker room.

Following the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Duncan would be out "a while" but didn't have a timetable.

Duncan has stayed healthy all season for the NBA-best Spurs, avoiding injuries unlike recent years.

Duncan has started all but one game. That was Saturday against Charlotte -- when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn't want to risk Duncan getting hurt on the second night of a back-to-back.

Popovich's biggest fear happened two nights later instead.

The AT&T Center fell quiet when Duncan crashed to the court and reached for his foot. Tony Parker was one of the first players over to check on him; Parker then turned and winced at Popovich, who was standing in front of the Spurs bench with his hands in his pockets and watching his two-time MVP writhe on the ground.

Before Saturday, Duncan had been the only Spurs player to start the team's first 68 games. Duncan had played 32 minutes the night before in Dallas.

"I saw him in pain. He's not one of those guys that's going to pretend or do that if he is not hurting," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "It's bad, but hopefully it's just a couple of games and he'll be back soon."

Even though his role has greatly diminished and his averages are at career lows, Duncan remains a big reason why the Spurs (57-13) are on pace to surpass their franchise record of 63 wins set in 2005-06.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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