Tiago Splitter injury: Right shoulder sprain will sideline Spurs big man 3-5 weeks

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio will have to survive without their ace defensive big man.

Tiago Splitter will be out 3-5 weeks after suffering a sprained shoulder during the San Antonio Spurs' victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday. Before Splitter underwent an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury, head coach Gregg Popovich has already announced that he will "definitely" miss time, reports Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich already has declared he will miss some games.

"He's going to get an MRI, but he'll be out," Popovich said. "He's got a sprained shoulder, for sure. We're just going to check to see if there's anything worse than that, but he'll definitely be out."

The injury occurred during the fourth quarter when Splitter collided with Clippers center Ryan Hollins' shoulder first and immediately went to the floor. Here's the play that caused the injury:

Spltterinjury_medium

The Spurs have not announced a timetable on his return yet, waiting for test results first. Coincidentally, the Clippers are dealing with a shoulder sprain of their own as Chris Paul is expected to miss three-to-five weeks with the same injury.

Splitter is averaging 8.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game with San Antonio this season. His numbers are down across the board, but Popovich has also monitored his minutes, reducing his time on the court from last season. The team signed Splitter to a four-year, $36 million contract this summer after he was a key piece in their NBA Finals run.

Boris Diaw, Aron Baynes and Jeff Ayres will likely see an increase in playing time while Splitter recovers from the injury.

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