The San Antonio Spurs’ depth chart in the backcourt was thinned again today, as guard Derrick White was lost to a heel injury.
White had an MRI last night in San Antonio, which revealed a left plantar fascia tear that occurred on Oct. 10 against the Atlanta Hawks. The team said a timeline for his return will be determined at a later date.White was set to be the Spurs’ likely starting point guard after guard Dejounte Murray suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s preseason loss to the Houston Rockets. Murray is expected to miss the entire 2018-19 season.
In the offseason, the Spurs watched as free-agent guard Tony Parker opted to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, putting him on a new team for the first time in 17 seasons. Murray became the Spurs’ starter last season, inheriting the role that Parker held for the better part of two decades. Yet not only is Murray now hurt, but rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV will miss several weeks while recovering from a torn meniscus.
Bryn Forbes, a third-year guard, will slide into the Spurs’ starting point guard spot. He will become the third player to start at the position in as many games when the Spurs face the Magic.
Popovich tried to put a brave face on the Spurs’ sudden injury epidemic.
“There’s so much junk in the world, you’re better off if you look at the cup as half full,” Popovich said. “I just say, drafting Tim Duncan was probably all the luck we deserved for a long time. Now it’s going the other way.”
“When (Popovich) told us this morning, it was kind of hard to process,” center Pau Gasol said. “It’s tough, because we literally don’t have a pure point guard right now.”
The injury to White likely means veteran guard Patty Mills will see a serious uptick in minutes as well. Mills is the only player who started any games at the point last season and remains on the San Antonio roster as the new season begins. Nick Johnson, who played for the G League’s Austin Spurs and was MVP of the G League Finals, is the only other healthy point guard on the team’s training camp roster.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.