Manu Ginobili out until next season

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that guard Manu Ginobili will miss the remainder of the 2008-09 regular season as well as the 2009 NBA Playoffs.

Ginobili felt stiffness in his lower right leg during the Spurs-Cavaliers game in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Following the game he returned to San Antonio. Earlier today, in San Antonio, he underwent a CT scan and an MRI. The examinations showed an increased marrow edema and a stress fracture in his right distal fibula.

No timeline has been determined for Ginobili’s return to the court.

The guard played just 44 games this season, coming off the bench as a “super-sub” for all but seven. He played 26.8 minutse per game, averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.45 steals while shooting 45.4% from the field and just 33.0% from three-point range.

Ginobili is the team’s third best player, after Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. The Spurs are still competitive without him, but it’s hard to call them a championship contender right now.

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