Bulging disk sidelines Suns' Lopez

5/3/2010 - NBA Robin Lopez Phoenix Suns + more

PHOENIX -- Phoenix center Robin Lopez declared himself out for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio on Monday but says he still thinks he will be ready to play at some point in the series.

Lopez said at the team's shootaround that he still needs to strengthen his right leg. The 7-footer hasn't played since March 26 because of a bulging disk that cut off a nerve to the leg.

Lopez was an effective starter before he got hurt and has defended the Spurs' Tim Duncan 1-on-1. When he returns, though, he probably would be severely limited in playing time at the start.