Spurs star Ginobili out 3-4 weeks

Manu Ginobili is expected to miss the next three to four weeks with a strained right hamstring.

The San Antonio Spurs are dealing with another injury crisis.


Just as the Spurs get back point guard Tony Parker from an ankle injury, they have been dealt another huge injury blow with the loss of Manu Ginobili.


Ginobili is expected to miss the next three to four weeks because of a strained right hamstring, the team confirmed Monday morning.


That timetable could mean Ginobili will miss the start of the playoffs.


The comes after reports surfaced that Parker could return earlier than expected from his ankle injury, but now the Spurs will have to find a way to make up for the loss of Ginobili.


Ginobili is third on the team in scoring this season, averaging 11.9 points per game. 


The Spurs sit 1-1/2 games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top seed in the West.


San Antonio survived the Parker injury, going 6-2 in the eight games he missed, but the chance that Ginobili could miss playoff time makes this injury much more substantial.


Before Sunday's game against the Miami Heat, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich warned the media that Ginobili's absence would be longer than expected.


"It's more than days,” Popovich said, according to the San Antonio Express News. "It's more like weeks, unfortunately. It's a huge blow for us because he's the guy that allows our second team to do what they've been doing all year long.


"It's a huge loss for that group. And in game situations, it's a tough one because he's one of two guys — he and Tony (Parker), are the creators who make things happen for everybody else on the court.


"It's an unfortunate loss at this point of the season."