Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is out for at least a month after surgery Thursday for a testicle injury he suffered during the team's win over New Orleans earlier this week.
Ginobili was injured with 2:26 remaining in the game Wednesday night. New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson had his back turned to Ginobili as he was working toward the basket when he spun quickly and struck the 38-year-old guard squarely in the groin with his right knee.
Ginobili tumbled to the floor and remained on the court for about a minute before exiting, holding his side and clutching a towel to his mouth. Ginobili dropped to the floor in pain as he was walking to the locker room. Anderson was assessed with an offensive foul.
The team said Ginobili is out indefinitely, but won't return for at least a month.
The 14-year Argentinian veteran was enjoying a resurgence after contemplating retirement in the offseason following numerous nagging injuries over the past few years. Ginobili missed five games earlier this season, including two for rest. He sat out a game with a muscle strain and missed another two due to hip tightness.
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The 6-foot-6 Ginobili is averaging 10 points, 3.3 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 19.7 minutes per game for the Spurs, who beat the Pelicans to set a conference record with their 27th straight victory at home. He had six points, four assists and three rebounds in 22 minutes of San Antonio's 110-97 victory over New Orleans.
The Spurs did not know the severity of Ginobili's injury at the time. LaMarcus Aldridge chuckled about the blow, saying the Spurs' super sub would be fine, as did David West. But San Antonio point guard Tony Parker, Ginobili's longtime friend and teammate, showed greater concern.
"I don't want to joke with that," Parker said. "It doesn't look good."
The Spurs were already missing Tim Duncan, another member of the team's vaunted Big Three. The 39-year-old forward has missed five straight games due to a sore right knee.
Without Duncan, Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard have helped San Antonio maintain its hold on the second-best record in the league behind only Golden State. But the bench, spearheaded by Ginobili, has been a key factor in the Spurs matching their franchise best start at 41-8.
With Ginobili out, the team likely has to turn to rookie wing Jonathon Simmons for more minutes and energy.