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No surgery for Parker

SAN ANTONIO, March 9 – San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker won't need surgery on his broken right hand, the NBA team said Monday.
The Spurs confirmed what coach Gregg Popovich said Sunday night, that the 27-year-old French guard broke the fourth metacarpal – a bone between the wrist and lower knuckle – and will miss about six weeks.

Parker hurt his shooting hand while diving for a loose ball in a victory at Memphis on Saturday.

"Everything is by degrees. That would be worse if he needed surgery, so I guess it makes me feel better," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Monday in Cleveland, where the Spurs took on the Cavaliers.

"They told us they thought it would be six weeks before he could do anything, so it’s probably four to eight weeks."

Parker did not travel with the Spurs to Cleveland.

The expected recovery time means Parker could be back in the Spurs backcourt in time for the playoffs, provided San Antonio qualify. The Spurs, 36-24 going into Monday’s game, are seventh in the Western Conference but only one game ahead of eighth-place Portland.

Parker was averaging 16.5 points per game, although he has combated a series of injuries this season.

"We haven’t had a great season so far, but we’re hoping we can turn it around," Manu Ginobili said. "Then seeing Tony go down, it hurts. But who cares, right? The rest of the teams aren’t going to give us wins just because he’s hurt. We have to go there and compete and try to win anyway."

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Popovich said it would be crucial to have Parker, Ginobili and veteran Tim Duncan in action if the Spurs are to have a shot in the playoffs.

"If one of those guys, including Tony, isn’t there, we’re not going anywhere," he said "We have to have all three of them because that’s how our team is built. We have role players around those three."

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