During an exhibition game between Spain and France before next month’s EuroBasket tournament, Tony Parker aggravated his right knee, reported the Express-News last night. But MRI results have cleared him to continue playing for France in next month’s tournament.
Parker released a statement on the French National Team’s Twitter feed saying via the Express-News:
“I am not worried, I’ll be 100 percent for the Euro. I approach the competition with confidence. After the MRI this morning I follow proper care. It does not affect the next game preparation.”
Also according to the Express News, team director Patrick Beesley described Parker’s second injury to his right knee on Twitter as “nothing serious.”
On Monday, Spain defeated rival France, 85-84, with Parker scoring 29 points in the loss. Many observers didn’t even realize Parker had strained the knee, and the writeup of the game failed to mention the injury, though France’s L’Equipe included a small blurb.
EuroBasket 2013 will be held Sept. 4-22 in Slovenia, and Spurs training camp begins Oct. 1, so it stands to reason Spurs GM R.C. Buford and coach Gregg Popovich are urging their franchise point guard to avoid exacerbating the knee by continuing to play in international competition.
Parker’s production was limited towards the end of the 7-game 2013 Finals series between the Spurs and the Heat. His hamstring was bothering him, and it was obvious the dynamo who initiated most of San Antonio’s offensive sets â€” side pick-and-rolls with Duncan to get into the lane and force Miami to over-rotate, which left Spurs shooters open â€” wasn’t at full strength by the time game 7 rolled around.
After going 10-for-14 for 26 points in San Antonio’s game 5 win to take a 3-2 series lead, Parker was 9-for-35 in game’s 6 and 7 and was sitting on the bench during the fourth quarter of game 7, with Manu Ginobili handling the offense down the stretch of the series.
Popovich took some heat last season when he rested Tim Duncan, Ginobili and Parker during a nationally televised game in November against the Heat. It was their fourth game in five nights, and Popovich made the strategic decision to get his bench more touches against the defending champions while also resting his aging starters.
The Spurs were fined a quarter of a million dollars for the decision, so we can’t help but wonder if Pop is currently trying to find a way to ban Tony Parker from international competition.
Should Tony Parker play for France in the EuroBasket tournament next month?
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