The San Antonio Spurs were dealt a blow to their playoff hopes after the team announced Wednesday that shooting guard Manu Ginobili is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a broken hand.
Ginobili, 34, will undergo surgery on Thursday, after suffering the injury in Monday's game against the Timberwolves. He will have a plate screwed into his left hand during the surgery.
Ginobili leads the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game, while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are off to a poor start. The Spurs have won three of their first five games but could be without Ginobili for roughly 30 games with the condensed 2011-2012 schedule.
James Anderson should see more playing time with Ginobili sidelined. The 22-year-old shooting guard is averaging 21.4 minutes a game this season, but may have to split duties with veteran small forward Richard Jefferson, who will likely receive additional time at shooting guard in Ginobili's absence.
Anderson is averaging 7.2 points this season. He started only two games last season in his rookie year.
No question, I am more prepared this year than last year. I didn't know what to expect going into each game like I do this year, Anderson said. I kind of know personnel better this year. I fit in better with the flow of the game this year better than last year.