Tony Parker injury: Spurs guard says he'd sit if it were regular season

USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs point guard won't put any additional pressure on himself to return for Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

After suffering a Grade 1 hamstring strain in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Tony Parker won't force a return. He remained noncommittal about his status a day before Game 4 against the Miami Heat, according to CBS Sports. The San Antonio Spurs point guard added that the injury will be treated in a similar fashion as his left calf strain that occurred earlier in the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors.

"Coach Pop always prefers the rest, to avoid injury. If it was the regular season I would definitely have rest. I would not play," Parker said, speaking about the calf strain against the Warriors. "And same thing here, it's an injury, and so we'll see. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. Talk with Pop."

Parker didn't practice with the Spurs on Wednesday and didn't even attempt to give it a go. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich will wait until gameday to determine Parker's status. The Spurs coach said much of the decision will fall on Parker's shoulders.

An MRI on Wednesday revealed Parker's injury was a Grade 1 strain, the least severe type of such an injury. Parker played 27 minutes and had six points and eight assists before leaving the 113-77 blowout.

Should he be held out for Game 4 against the Heat, it's likely Popovich would insert reserve guard Cory Joseph into the starting lineup. Joseph has averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 assists in nine starts this season. Such a move would allow Gary Neal, who exploded for 24 points in Game 3, to continue in his current bench role as a shoot-first guard.

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