Tony Parker’s injury on March 1 looked like it might cost the San Antonio Spurs the No.1 seed in the Western Conference.
The point guard suffered a sprained ankle against the Sacramento Kings, and was projected to miss four weeks. After being off the court for 10 days, it appears that Parker could be healing faster than expected.
The San Antonio Express News reports that Parker may not need all four weeks to recover from the injury, and his return date could be pushed up. According to Mike Monroe, seeing the 30-year-old on the treadmill has made the team encouraged about his progress.
If Parker is ready ahead of schedule, though, there’s still a chance that he won’t play until the end of the month. Head coach Gregg Popovich won’t play the veteran until he’s completely healthy.
“We need Tony back as soon as possible, but at the same time, feeling good,” said Manu Ginobili. “We can’t have him limping or not being him. So it’s great to see him running already and we are counting the days.”
In 56 games, Parker has been the Spurs best player. He leads the club with 21 points and 7.6 assists per game. If it weren’t for the historical seasons of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Parker could have a shot at his first MVP award.
San Antonio has managed to win two of their three games without Parker. In their lost contest, they were blown out by the Portland Trail Blazers, losing 136-106. Cory Joseph has been placed in the starting lineup as Parker’s replacement. He’s averaged 8.3 points and three assists in the All-Star’s absence.
The Spurs have a one-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the conference. The Miami Heat’s 18-game winning streak have put them percentage points ahead of San Antonio for the best record in the NBA.