SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol is out indefinitely after fracturing the fourth metacarpal on his left hand prior to the club’s matchup on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs announced the injury during the second quarter of their game against the Nuggets.
Gasol suffered the injury during pregame warm-ups, and the team immediately took X-rays at the arena before determining he suffered the fracture.
The Spurs haven’t yet determined a timeline for Gasol’s return, per the team.
Gasol was injured when he collided with teammate Kyle Anderson. He walked off the court grimacing and flexing his left hand. Veteran David Lee took Gasol’s place in the starting lineup.
Interestingly, during the 2013-14 season, Kawhi Leonard suffered essentially the same injury as Gasol, fracturing the fourth metacarpal on his right hand, which put him out of commission for 14 games. Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas missed 17 games with a broken left hand in 2015.
“The coaches do a great job getting everybody ready and what plays we’re going to run, our defense that we’re going to play tonight,” Leonard said. “It’s probably a big deal for the guys who find out they’re going to start because it just changes your whole approach to the game. But we’re used to it. We’re going to miss Pau. Hopefully, we can keep moving.”
Veteran guard Danny Green attempted to find a silver lining in Gasol’s injury.
“We look at it as a positive. It’s a chance for the young guys to get in there and have the ‘next man up’ attitude, to get in there and continue to win games and play well,” Green said. “These young guys get a chance to prove themselves and earn that trust, and hopefully we can keep trying to pull out wins somehow. We want to get better and stay healthy for playoffs.”
A 16-year veteran, Gasol signed on July 14 with the Spurs and has started 39 games this season, shooting .510 from the field and .465 from 3-point range.
Gasol produced San Antonio’s third-best shooting night from the field on Jan. 12 against the Los Angeles Lakers, connecting on all nine of his shots for 22 points to go with nine rebounds and six assists in 25 minutes. Gasol put together his sixth double-double of the season on Dec. 28 against the Phoenix Suns with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Gasol leads the Spurs in blocks (45) this season.