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Gregg Popovich expects Manu Ginobili to make full recovery

DALLAS -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expects guard Manu Ginobili to make a full recovery from the testicular injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the next four to six weeks, but he admits the veteran’s latest setback is a little different than anything the club has experienced in dealing with an injury.

“Would you say this is a different injury than past ones?” Popovich asked. “So how the hell would I know?”

Ginobili underwent testicular surgery Thursday in San Antonio, and didn’t travel with the team to Dallas for Friday’s matchup against the Mavericks.

Ginobili suffered the injury late in the fourth quarter Wednesday night when he took a knee to the groin from New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson. Ginobili quickly collapsed to the court and doubled over in pain, as officials whistled Anderson for an offensive foul.

Although Ginobili has an extensive injury history throughout his 13 years in the NBA, Popovich couldn’t draw on the past to give an indication of how the guard might recover. Ginobili has “not [gone] through this,” a laughing Popovich said. “This is a little different.”

Ginobili is averaging 10.0 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, sparking a bench that now turns to rookie wing Jonathon Simmons for more minutes and energy while also dialing up more playing time for Kyle Anderson.

“As one would expect, he’d rather be playing,” Popovich said of Ginobili.

In other Spurs injury news, forward Tim Duncan participated in pregame warm-ups leading into Friday’s contest, but had been ruled out earlier in the day by the team. It’s expected the Spurs will keep Duncan out of action until the end of the All-Star break.

“We’ll miss their play, but their leadership is just as important,” Popovich said of Duncan and Ginobili. “When those two guys are on the court, everything seems to work a little bit more smoothly. Everyone knows where to go. We will miss them for that as much as anything.”