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Spurs coach Popovich says Parker out for foreseeable future because of aches and pains

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Spurs guard Tony Parker sat out Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, and San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said the six-time All Star will be sidelined for quite some time because of multiple injuries.

Popovich said earlier Tuesday that Parker would be out of action "for the foreseeable future" because of numerous aches and pains involving his back, groin and calf.

The 13-year veteran, who played 11 minutes Sunday in the NBA All-Star game, is the Spurs' leading scorer. He is also the only player averaging at least 30 minutes for Southwest Division-leading San Antonio.

Last season, Parker was the only NBA player to average at least 20 points and seven assists while shooting over 50 per cent from the field and 80 per cent on free throws.

"I think he's just spent, mentally and physically," Popovich said. "The last five games or so was about 65-70 per cent, at the most, and he's developed a little nagging thing every time. He's had a shoulder and a hip and a calf and all this kind of stuff, and now it's his Achilles a little bit.

"All these things have added up, and I think it's affected him mentally, also. I think the last three years have caught up with him — playing a whole NBA season, and for the whole summer qualifying for that European championship that they finally got this year. I'm just looking at the big picture and trying to get him whole for the stretch."

Popovich watched Parker's first 5 minutes during the All-Star game before changing the channel, but didn't think Parker did further damage by playing.

When asked about the minimum number of games Parker would miss, Popovich said: "I don't think about that. I'm just going to go with it and see when I think he's ready to go again," he said. "I'm not going to speculate on how long or how many games, because I don't know."

Spurs forward and defensive stalwart Kawhi Leonard missed his 12th straight game because of a broken bone in his right hand.

"It's still painful for him to catch the ball and shoot the ball," Popovich said. "We want to get him into one-on-ones and two-on-twos and let him get banged around a little bit first in practice situations, rather than throwing him into a game after four weeks, so he can get confident with it.

"He tried to shoot a little bit over the break, and again today. After about 10 or 12 shots, it started to get painful and stiff again. The doctors say it's healed and calcified and that sort of thing, but he's got to get through the pain and get used to the little glove that he's wearing."

Popovich also addressed remarks made by former NBA coach George Karl on ESPN that he "heard whispers" indicating 14-time All-Star Tim Duncan was thinking about retiring after the season despite having a $10.4 million option for next season.

"I guess people say whatever they want to say," Popovich said. "George must have his reasons, I don't know. I haven't talked to George about such things."

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