AP — Seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the remainder of San Antonio’s season while he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder, a major blow to the Spurs’ postseason chances, assuming the season continues as planned.
The Spurs announced Monday that Aldridge had the surgery on April 24, stemming from an injury he suffered in a game at Utah on Feb. 21.
“If you can remember, before things shut down, he had the initial injury back in late February to the shoulder and missed a couple weeks, came back and played in the Dallas game,” Spurs general manager Brian Wright said via online chat. “We tried to take advantage of the hiatus period with rehab and him working to get back. Unfortunately, it just didn’t progress the way that we all had hoped. The best pathway from there was the surgical procedure. So, we decided to move forward with that and get him ready for next season.”
San Antonio is one of the 22 teams will that report to the ESPN Wide Wide Of Sports complex at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, starting next month, when the NBA plans to resume its season. The Spurs have been to the playoffs in 22 consecutive seasons, matching the longest streak in NBA history.
When play resumes, the Spurs will be among four teams — the others being Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento — that are all separated by a half-game in the race for ninth place in the Western Conference and potentially a berth in a play-in series. The gap between those four teams is .010 percentage points.
Aldridge played in two more games after getting hurt, including one on March 10, when he scored 24 points in the Spurs’ win over Dallas. The NBA suspended its season the following day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Aldridge turns 35 next month. He finished this season averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
The Spurs say Aldridge “is expected to be fully cleared for all basketball activities” in time for training camp ahead of next season. Based on the NBA’s current schedule plans, training camps for 2020-21 are likely to begin in November.