Though it sounds as though Manu Ginobili smoothed out his participation in the Olympics with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, it's hard to imagine any of the black-and-silver devotees being too thrilled about the latest development for the star's health: He'll be having surgery on his ankle.
"Now the issue is that it's not better either and it seems that the only way to recovery fully is to have arthroscopic surgery."
According to Manu, no date has been set. He doesn't even know which doctor will perform the procedure, but the reality and severity of the situation is sinking in.
"I understand the frustration," says Ginobili. "I understand that I may miss some games, but participating in the Olympic Games was very important. Any athlete who has the possibility to experience the Olympic Games should not reject it. There will be people who understands you and other people who do not."
The most important thing is that coach Gregg Popovich agrees with me and he is, after all, my boss, to say the least. That is why I have complete peace of mind regarding the manner in which I proceeded and I felt I had the support of the people of San Antonio."
"Frankly, I was surprised that Pop came to see me at the airport in San Antonio. I wasn't expecting him at all because it was 10:30 pm at night, which is rather late. But I appreciate his gesture and see it as a sign of affection and class. We got into a van after he whisked me away from some journalists and we chatted in a very enjoyable way. So this is how the Spurs are handling the situation."
Once again, just as they should be.
That Ginobili will need to have surgery and possibly miss some time is unfortunate for him and his team, but it's part of basketball. He could have just as easily gotten injured playing for the Spurs during the season. The guy has consistently performed and conducted himself at a level making him thoroughly deserving of the opportunity to play for his country, and at any level of competition, injuries are a well-established reality of sports. Ginobili has made it clear that he will do everything he can to recover as quickly and fully as possible and to make himself as much of an asset to the Spurs as he can, and it's hard to ask any more of him than that.
Good to see the Spurs organization continuing to support him, and here's hoping for a speedy recovery for Manu.