Ginobili set for Spurs return


Los Angeles (AFP)

San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili said he expects to return from testicular surgery next week.

Ginobili has been sidelined since February 2 after being struck in the groin by Ryan Anderson during the Spurs' NBA clash with New Orleans.

"I'm pretty sure that will happen," said the 38-year-old Argentinian, who has begun practicing with the team.

"He's going more quickly then we would have imagined," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Ginobili, who is averaging 10 points, 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds this season, told reporters on Wednesday that he is free of the pain that bothered him for the first week after he was injured.

After Anderson caught him in the groin with a knee, Ginobili was unable to stand, and still couldn't get his breath five minutes later. He was helped to the locker room by teammate Tim Duncan and Spurs staff, and had surgery that night.

"When they told me it was going to take a month, month and a half -- unbelievable," Ginobili said.

Ginobili will return to a Spurs team that has already clinched a playoff berth, punching their ticket with a victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.