San Antonio Spurs star point guard Tony Parker sprained his ankle on March 1 in a game against the Sacramento Kings and was expected to miss one month of action, but the team announced on Friday that he will be "active and available" when the Spurs take on the Utah Jazz. Gregg Popovich told reporters last week that he expected Parker to get back sooner than expected, and sure enough the team's lead offensive player is back more than a week ahead of schedule.
Tony Parker will be active and available tonight vs. Utah.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 22, 2013
The 30-year-old point guard missed eight games due to the ankle injury, and the Spurs went 6-2 over that stretch thanks to a surge from Tim Duncan. Over that span, Duncan posted 21.1 points on 57.7 percent shooting and 11.6 rebounds per game to help San Antonio maintain the best record in the Western Conference. Spurs blog Pounding the Rock has started up the campaign for Duncan to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Parker has been terrific in his own right this year. He has played in 56 games this season and posted a sparkling 24.3 PER. He has averaged 21 points on a career-high 59.5 percent true shooting and dished out 7.6 assists per contest. The Spurs outscore opposing teams by 11.8 points per 100-possessions with Parker on the floor.