LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined until All-Star break
What's the story?
San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge will be missing all three days leading up to this year's All-Star break.
In case you didn't know...
Having defeated the Spurs, the Utah Jazz are currently now on a 10-game winning streak - the longest active in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets are 22-7 at home and undefeated against teams playing on a second consecutive night of back-to-back matches.
The heart of the matter...
San Antonio Spurs have gradually grown accustomed to fielding a Spurs side without their star player in Kawhi Leonard, who is still recovering from last season's lengthy injury lay-off. Now though, they must prepare themselves for matches without their influential power forward too.
The All-Star has returned to San Antonio to undergo what the team says is routine treatment on his chronically sore right knee. He will not feature in either of their two games leading into the break, but is expected to return and play in the All-Star game.
After their morning shootaround in Salt Lake City, coach Greg Popovich clarified the situation.
"He's just getting treatment on his knee," he stated. "There's a certain amount of rest that has to happen - he's doing it now so he won't have to miss any games after the break."
The treatment will be routine maintenance on the 32-year-old's right knee. Unless they manage to pull off a surprise upset against the Nuggets next, the Spurs are in danger of entering the break with a three-game losing streak.
The Spurs play the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, before heading into the All-Star break. This season, their record is 35-23 and they're currently third in the Western Conference, behind the Golden State Warriors as well as the Houston Rockets.
As Popovich said, it's better for him to miss games now rather than later on in the season. Even if they do lose a few matches on the trot now, it's not worth them seeing their best players on the sidelines during the business months of the campaign - especially when playoff time arrives in April.