<
>

Spurs sit Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge as Manu Ginobili returns

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that guard Manu Ginobili will play in Saturday's matchup at the AT&T Center against the Sacramento Kings, but the club will hold out Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green.

Popovich said the absence of Duncan and Green was preplanned, but Aldridge's absence came as the result of a migraine headache.

"The convergence is unfortunate, but this is three in four nights for Timmy, and then a back-to-back coming up," Popovich said. "So he was gonna be out anyway. We didn't know that LaMarcus was gonna have a migraine, and then we had decided after the last back-to-back that Danny needed to get some rest because he's been overplayed. So, we're missing three instead of two. But that's the way it goes. We get Manu back. He'll play a few minutes."

Ginobili sat out 12 games recovering from testicular surgery, but participated in workouts with the team on Sunday, Monday and Friday after sitting out Thursday's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ginobili vowed that once he returns to action, he'll continue to play with the same reckless abandon.

"I'm not hesitating, I'm not in doubt, I'm not afraid," Ginobili said.

But it is unclear how much he'll play given that Ginobili isn't at the requisite level of cardiovascular conditioning to play extended minutes, given his long layoff. Popovich said there won't be any restrictions on Ginobili's minutes.

"Not really, it's probably what he can handle," Popovich said. "He's had three workouts with contact, and it's probably more his wind than anything I would imagine."

Ginobili suffered the testicular injury with 2:26 left to play in a Feb. 3 win over the Pelicans, and the Spurs declared him out for at least a month after he underwent surgery. He suffered the injury when Ryan Anderson's right knee caught him squarely in the groin area just as he turned toward Anderson.

It's likely David West and Boban Marjanovic replace Duncan and Aldridge in the starting lineup, and the club could decide to play Jonathon Simmons or Rasual Butler in Green's spot on the wing.

Duncan will miss his 16th game of the season, while it will be Aldridge's fifth time sitting out and Green's first.