Spurs slowly getting business in order

The Spurs unlocked the doors to their practice complex Thursday morning, but players didn’t exactly barge through.

Maybe they knew members of the team’s medical staff were waiting inside, ready to give each player the requisite preseason physical exam.

Who likes an ice-cold stethoscope pressed against bare skin anyway?

Only three Spurs showed up for physicals Thursday: team captain Tim Duncan, second-year guard James Anderson and first-round draft pick Cory Joseph.

Most other members of the team aren’t expected to arrive until the weekend, and authorized offseason workouts won’t begin for another day or two.

According to one eyewitness, Duncan looked fit and trim.

All-Star point guard Tony Parker is scheduled to take a flight from Paris today and is expected at the practice facility Saturday or Sunday.

All-Star guard Manu Ginobili — who had been in San Antonio for a few weeks before the Nov. 10 breakdown in labor negotiations — will be in town Wednesday, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy.

Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and his staff continued talking to representatives of free agents so the club can be prepared for the opening of free agency, scheduled for Dec. 9.

A report in the Argentine sports publication Ole! on Thursday quoted former Spurs center Fabricio Oberto expressing hope that he might return to the Spurs for one more season.

According to that report, the Spurs had talked with Oberto’s Argentina-based agent before the lockout and showed interest in bringing the 36-year-old center back to the team.

Buford would neither confirm nor deny the team’s interest in the big man.

Traded by the Spurs in the 2008 deal that acquired forward Richard Jefferson, Oberto retired from the Portland Trail Blazers last season after suffering a recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that twice sidelined him during his four seasons with the Spurs.

Cleared in July to play for Argentina in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Oberto was a solid contributor to his national team winning the gold medal in that grueling tournament. He is expected to play for Argentina during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Meanwhile, a significant hurdle on the path to a new collective bargaining agreement has been cleared. The players union will be reconstituted after receiving recertification cards from more than 260 player members. This will allow bargaining to continue with the NBA in an effort to complete a collective bargaining agreement in time for the planned Christmas Day opening of the 2011-12 season.

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