Danny Green out four weeks with fractured hand

1/13/14 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green left Sunday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with what was initially diagnosed as a "sprained left index finger," but it turns out that the injury is quite a bit worse than originally thought. Further testing has revealed a non-displaced fracture in Green's left hand, and he is expected to miss about four weeks.

Jan 12, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin (bottom) draws a charge from San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (4) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY SportsThe injury is just the latest in a series of disappointing events for Green this season. After breaking out and showing plenty of promise over the past two years, Green has not lived up to expectations in 2013-14. His 7.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game are his lowest averages since the 2010-11 season, and his 41.7% field goal percentage is his lowest since his rookie year. He was recently benched in favor of Marco Belinelli due to an abundance of defensive mistakes.

Green was averaging 22.4 minutes per game, so his absence will leave a nice chunk of playing time to be filled. Belinelli and Manu Ginobili will pick up much of the slack while Green is injured. Nando De Colo, Patty Mills, and Cory Joseph could also see a bump in minutes over the next month.

For any Spurs fans looking for some optimism, Anthony Davis suffered the same injury in the same hand earlier this season and returned to action just 16 days later. It would be overly optimistic to expect Green back that soon, but it is worth noting that he does have a shot at significantly beating his timetable.

If some of the players who help fill the void left by Green play well, Green could see a decrease in his already-disappointing amount of playing time. Joseph and Mills are both averaging more points and assists than Green per 36 minutes while also shooting higher percentages from the field.
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