Ginobili’s status in doubt after leg contusion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Stiff-legged, with a gait recalling that of Frankenstein’s monster, Manu Ginobili hobbled down a hallway at the FedEx Forum after the Spurs’ 111-104 loss to Memphis on Sunday night. A left quadriceps contusion had knocked him out for most of the second half, and cast into doubt his availability for Monday’s home game against Portland.

Ginobili suffered the injury with a little more than two minutes left in the second quarter, when Grizzlies center Marc Gasol caught him with a knee. Ginobili immediately came out of the game. He returned briefly in the second half, even scoring his first basket of  the game, before calling it a night.

“At first, when I came to the bench, I thought I was going to be OK,” Ginobili said. “Then it stiffened up. I can’t put my full weight on it.”

The injury, centered just above Ginobili’s left knee, is not considered serious, but it is considered painful. It is not immediately clear how long Ginobili might be unavailable to the Spurs, who are already playing without captain Tim Duncan.

The play on which Ginobili was injured Monday cost the Spurs not only their star guard, but their head coach. Gasol knocked over Ginobili and took the ball, igniting a fast-break that led to a Leon Powe bucket and foul. Incensed Gasol had not been whistled for a foul, Popovich received two quick technicals and an ejection from referee Jason Phillips.

Ginobili would not rule himself out of Monday’s Portland game, hoping — perhaps against hope — that compression machines on the team’s charter flight home from Memphis would provide adequate healing powers. But he certainly didn’t look like a man less than 24 hours from his next NBA game.

“I’ll get some rest and some treatment, and then we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Ginobili said.

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