The San Antonio Spurs are invited to Disney World to compete for a playoff spot, but they’ll do so without one of their best players.
The Spurs announced on Monday that LaMarcus Aldridge had shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season. The procedure was to repair rotator cuff damage in his right shoulder from an injury suffered against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 21. Aldridge missed six games before returning for one game before the league’s COVID-19 shutdown.
“Disappointed I won’t get to finish the season with my teammates, but excited that I’ll be fully ready to go next season and beyond,” Aldridge said in a statement provided by the team.
The Spurs are one of five teams in the West not currently in playoff position that will compete when the NBA is scheduled to return with 22 teams on July 31. At 27-36, San Antonio sits four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies who are in eighth place in the West and in position for the conference’s final playoff spot.
Along with the Spurs, the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns are all within six games of the No. 8 seed. Only the Suns sit behind the Spurs in the standings.
Aldridge is second on the team behind DeMar DeRozan with 18.9 points per game and leads San Antonio with 7.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Aldridge had the procedure on April 24, more than a month into the NBA’s COVID-19 shutdown. With the league’s return uncertain at that point and the Spurs a long shot to make the playoffs regardless, the Spurs prioritized having him healthy for next season.
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