Truly alarming sports news today, as Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will miss at least a month after HAVING SURGERY ON HIS TESTICLES. No! Nooooo! No!!!!!!
The injury was apparently suffered with a few minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's game, when Ryan Anderson's knee hit Ginobili in the groin, ending his night:
At first the mood was very "Ha! He got hit in his balls! Funny!" But when Tony Parker was jokingly asked about Ginobili's apparently hilarious injury after the game, Parker went stone-faced and said that he wouldn't joke about it, that "it doesn't look good."
Athletes have suffered testicle injuries before, but Ginobili's projected absence of a month is unusually long. Jazz guard John Starks had a testicle removed due to testicular torsion during the 2001 playoffs, and was playing within five days. Red Wings forward Nicklas Lidstrom had emergency surgery on his testicles after being speared by Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp in the 2009 playoffs, but missed about a week.
Baseball players occasionally suffer testicle injuries when they choose to play without a cup. In 2008, Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder caught a foul ball to the groin, but only missed about 20 days. Adrian Beltre tore his testicle in 2009, but stayed in the game despite the fact that it had, in his words, swollen to the size of a grapefruit. (He scored the winning run!) He missed a little over 15 days. In 2008, Cubs outfielder Felix Pie had emergency surgery for torsion on March 11, but was able to play in the team's season-opener March 31.
Probably the worst testicle injury of all time goes to Bears cornerback Virgil Livers, whose testicle exploded -- EXPLODED -- when an Oakland Raider landed on his cupless groin knee-first in 1978. Reports from the time indicate he returned to the game in the fourth quarter and would miss just two games.
It's possible a minor injury allowed the medical staff to uncover something else, like when lasting pain from an errant throw that hit Phillies first baseman John Kruk in the groin led doctors to discover early-stage testicular cancer. Luckily, it hadn't spread, and Kruk played in his team's season opener 20 days later.
All of these things, from fractures to removals to cancer, are bad, and I wish them on no man's testicles. None of them caused the injured player to miss a month, which is how long Ginobili is out. (In fact, some people are saying six weeks.)
I don't know what has happened to Manu Ginobili's testicles, but my heart is with him. Get better Manu.