San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker sustained a sprained ankle in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder but is hoping to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
"Despite a sprained ankle, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is hopeful to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
"Parker 'should be ready' to play in Game 1, two sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.
"Parker will work to rehabilitate the sprain over the next several days of preparatoin for the Finals rematch with the Miami Heat.
"Parker had been bothered by the ankle since Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals and tried to play on it in Game 6 before missing the second half of the clinching victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"Parker has averaged 17.8 points and five assists in the playoffs.
"Without Parker, the Sours managed to cobble together a second half and overtime with Cory Joseph and Manu Ginobili playing point guard and still beat the Thunder."
Just a day before Wojnarowski's report was released, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was uncertain about his point guard's status after San Antonio defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime, 112-107, to advance to their second consecutive NBA Finals appearance, per MySanAntonio.com's Dan McCarney.
"I don't know what the deal is. He came to me with about eight minutes on the clock (before the game) and told me he couldn't go. He couldn't cut sideways or forward.
"We didnt' make a big deal out of (the injury), but I guess it caught up with him. I didn't want him to be a hero. If he's 50 percent or less, that's bad for the team.
"But it was a tough decision to play him because if you lose, it affects him for Monday (in Game 7). We went back and forth. He tried to get warmer and warmer.
"He wasn't doing very well, but the 19 minutes he gave us were huge. He showed a lot of guts to do what he did. But at halftime it stiffened up a little bit and I made the call. He wanted to go and I told him, you're not."
Ginobili, who assumed much of the point guard duties in Parker's absence in Game 7 against the Thunder, told McCarney the Spurs responded well without their leader.
"You know how important Tony is for us. He tried. He gave it a try in the first half but he wasn't what we needed him to be to attack them. Just being there is not enough.
"You have to be ready and ahtletic and aggressive to beat them. So Pop pulled the plug. It was tough going into the second half down seven, but I thought we responded well."