San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will need arthroscopic surgery to repair a ligament injury in his left ankle. Ginobili helped lead Argentina to a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics, but during the first quarter of Argentina’s semifinal game against the United States, Ginobili aggravated his injury and limped off the court. He did not play in Argentina’s bronze-medal match against Lithuania.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had urged Ginobili not to play in the Olympics. Ginobili decided to not only play, but also to carry the Argentinian flag in the opening ceremonies of the Summer games.
Ginobili had already injured his ankle in late May at the end of the season, although he expected it to improve rather quickly. Starting in June, Ginobili wore a walking boot for several weeks after an MRI exam showed an unusually large ligament in the left foot.
Despite this injury, Ginobili isn’t entirely disappointed. He was satisfied to be playing in the Olympics. He said, “Aside from this situation, I’m comfortable with the situation. My plan was to be part of the Olympic Games, and I knew that if I suffered from pain they would have to operate. This isn’t something that took me by surprise.”
Last season with San Antonio, Ginobili averaged 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.