Ahead of the San Antonio Spurs’ first game of the NBA regular season, it appeared that several key players would be unable to play. That included Derrick White and Keldon Johnson, both of whom are a crucial part of the lineup. Good news arrived on Tuesday, though, as Johnson will be available to play. Keldon informed the media he’s healed from his injury and plans to participate in the game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Keldon Johnson speaks to media about injury status prior to season opener
With Keldon Johnson entering his sophomore season in San Antonio, there are high hopes that the youngster will continue to develop into a star. He was sidelined during the short period of time the Spurs had for training camp and preseason games due to a foot injury. However, according to Johnson, he’s good to go just in time for the Spurs’ first matchup.
“I’m pretty much back. I feel like I’ll be out there tomorrow playing,” Johnson said as part of his conversation with the media on Tuesday. Head coach Gregg Popovich originally said it would be several weeks before Johnson or Derrick White got to play. However, Pop mentioned Johnson was farther along in his progress.
While Pop said Johnson was able to do 3-on-3 practices, Keldon indicated he advanced to participating in 5-on-5 practices this week ahead of the season opener. He also said he’s bulked up during his brief offseason.
“Since the bubble, I feel like I’ve put on 8 pounds of muscle,” says Keldon.— Paul Garcia (@PaulGarciaNBA) December 23, 2020
He said he got hurt at home going up the stairs about 3 weeks ago.
As far as his injury goes, Keldon said he injured one of his toes while going up the stairs at his home. At first, he attempted to practice through the injury, but he said his foot began to swell and the team noticed he was injured.
Spurs injury report lists two players ahead of Grizzlies game
According to Project Spurs’ Paul Garcia, the injury report for Wednesday’s game lists only Quinndary Weatherspoon and Derrick White. Weatherspoon is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, and White from his offseason toe surgery. Keldon Johnson was originally on the report heading towards the opener.
Due to Derrick White’s injury situation, it will likely mean increased minutes for Patty Mills, Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson, and rookie Devin Vassell.
Johnson also gave thoughts on the Spurs’ rookie Vassell, saying “He’s really good” as far as his early assessment. Vassell got a good bit of playing time in the Spurs’ preseason games. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was happy with how he looked.
The San Antonio Spurs take the court for their season opener at Memphis with a start time of 8:05 p.m. Eastern Time (7:05 p.m. Central) on Wednesday night. The current point spread has the Grizzlies favored by two points at several sportsbooks.