Apparently for San Antonio Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili. it's going to take more than a head-on, and I do mean head-on, collision with Tyreke Evans to get him to sit out any games leading up to the playoffs.
Ginobili, who was given the moniker, El Contusion, by former Spur Brent Barry, cut his ear due to the collision, but Manu's not interested in Spurs coach Gregg Popovich giving him any time off before the playoffs, according to SI.com writer Sam Amick.
SA's Manu Ginobili cut his right ear & had to get it patched up (no stitches) after tonight's game, but he didn't find it funny when the joke was made that Popovich might put him on the shelf until playoffs out of fear of injury. Missing 31 games is enough, apparently: "Hopefully not, because I need to play. I need to be on the court. Today was weird, because of the three games in a row, but I just want to play. I’m feeling good, starting to feel the strength in my legs, so I just want to play."
You have to love Ginobili's passion to play up until the last second ticks off the regular season clock, but I'm sure most Spurs fans would side with Pop here. The last thing anyone wants to see is an injury before the playoffs even start. Remember what happened to Manu last season versus Phoenix right before the playoffs?
If not for NBA rules mandating that only three players can be kept on the injured reserve list, I'm sure Pop would prefer to send out several press releases with injuries no one could pronounce for most of his rotation and bring in D-League players to finish off the season, so don't be surprised if Ginobili has to wear a three-piece on the sidelines sometime next week.
There's no easy answer. I can understand wanting to rest him until playoffs to protect him but then Manu is a rhythm player and if he doesn't play for a while he'll play pretty poorly for five or six games until he can gain it back. I don't think we can afford him to be looking for his game in the playoffs.
Manu knows best what is good or bad to him. He missed several games, so he needs to play and get his rythmn. Limit his time in the court just like TD and TP until playoff time. But the game against the lakers is a matter of pride. The spurs must play with full compliment and show the lakers with or without bryant they are beatable.
I think he needs to play, he just wants to get back his rhythm, he knows that best for himself. It would be probably smart that he did not play any fourth quarters, especially close ones. Because that is where Manu seems to play blind like a bull. But overall, it will all come down to luck I guess.
I say give him limited minutes. Keep him oiled, but try to limit exposure to injury... Seeding takes a back seat to health.