No, not the nose! Sinus infection nearly benches Manu

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — Spurs guard Manu Ginobili acknowledged Monday that he missed Argentina’s Sunday practice session with a sinus infection that robbed him of good sleep for a couple of days.

Ginobili told the Express-News he wasn’t sure he would feel well enough to suit up against Canada in the first game of the second round of the FIBA Americas pre-Olympic qualifying tournament here.

A round of antibiotics eased the infection, and Ginobili on Monday scored 16 points, with six rebounds and five assists, in Argentina’s 79-53 victory over Canada.

“I had two really bad days and nights, just couldn’t breathe easily,” Ginobili said. “Yesterday (Sunday) I started with some medicine and slept about nine hours.

“That sleep was very helpful for me, but this is a tough tournament if you are not sleeping well. You play four in five nights, then have one day off, and now we have four in four. So resting is huge, and yesterday, by the time we were to come to practice I just couldn’t make it. But I had a good night and today was a different story.”

Manu’s recovery wasn’t good news for Canada, but at least it allowed Spurs draftee Cory Joseph, the former UT star, to meet him briefly during the pre-game exchange of gifts.

“He welcomed me to the family,” said Joseph, a Toronto native who is Canada’s starting point guard.

“We will get to talk much more at training camp in about a month,” Ginobili said. “Well, at least I hope it will be in about a month.”

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