Manu Ginobili out for season…and playoffs

The Spurs are going to have a tough time winning their fourth title in seven years without their star wing.

The stiffness Spurs guard Manu Ginobili felt in his right ankle during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers turned out to portend the worst possible news for the star guard and the Spurs: A stress fracture that will cost him the remainder of the season, and the playoffs.

Ginobili had returned to game action March 25 in Atlanta after missing 19 games with a stress reaction in his right distal fibula. Sunday’s game was his sixth since returning to the lineup, and followed three games in which he had totaled 50 points. After scoring 16 in a victory in Indianapolis on Friday, Ginobili had reported that he felt “super.”

When the ankle stiffened Sunday, he sought advice from the team’s athletic training and conditioning staff, and was sent back to San Antonio for a CT scan and MRI. The results of tests conducted Monday morning showed the stress fracture, and the determination that the team’s starting shooting guard would miss the remainder of the season.

Laker fans will be dancing in the street when they hear this news. When healthy, the Spurs posed the biggest threat to L.A.’s title hopes. With Ginobili out and Kevin Garnett hobbled, it’s looking more and more like we’re destined for a Cavs/Lakers Finals.

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