Injury plagued star feeling no ill effects after comeback.
Despite concern from coach Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili says he is “feeling good” a day after his team’s 91-79 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In his 11th season in the NBA, the Argentine guard has been plagued with injuries throughout the regular season, with a hamstring strain ruling him out for a nine-game stretch, before making his comeback in the finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, he returned on Sunday and went 6-for-13 from the field to score 18 points and help the Spurs overcome the Lakers in the first game of their opening round play-off series.
Fortunately for Popovich, the veteran says he feels fine and doesn’t have any immediate concerns over his fitness.
“I’m feeling good. I’m a little tired, of course, playing after such a long time, but I didn’t play that much, either. I feel real good,” he told the media as reported by NBA.com.
Despite his advancing years and reduced minutes, Ginobili remains a key component of the Spurs roster, and has the ability to be a game-winning presence off the bench.
He helped San Antonio’s reserves outscore the Lakers’ backups 40-10 on Sunday, as he scored eight straight points at the end of the third quarter to give the Spurs a commanding lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
His scoring burst even surprised the man himself, as he revealed he didn’t harbour great expectations following such an extended period off the court.
“I didn’t picture myself scoring. I pictured myself playing, contributing, getting a couple of assists, steals or something like that, but I didn’t think I was going to be able to score much, so I was surprised,” he added.
Ginobili’s mere presence presents a headache for the Lakers defensive unit, and he will be looking to continue to contribute in the only way he knows how when the two teams meet again in Game 2 on Wednesday night.