The San Antonio Spurs announced on Saturday morning that starting power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with minor heart arrhythmia. He also needed an ablation during training camp in 2011, but was able to return to the court in time to play in the preseason and made the All-Star team for Portland that season.
San Antonio revealed Aldridge will not be in the lineup for Saturday's nationally televised game against the Warriors and will be out for an unspecified amount of time after discovering what doctors are calling a minor case of heart arrhythmia.
Heading into Friday's slate of games, the Warriors (52-12) now lead the Spurs (50-14) by two games for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
The Spurs are dealing with injuries to starters Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, but Aldridge's ailment shocked the team and Popovich.
Aldridge was having a solid season up to this point in his second year with San Antonio. Aldridge is a key player for the team with his deadly mid-range jumper and post game.
Even though this injury comes at a awful time for San Antonio, they do have the depth to deal with this injury. He will undergo further tests before the team determines how much time he misses.
Just who actually takes the floor for the San Antonio Spurs when they battle the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio won't likely be known until the final hours before tip-off.
Another answer could be that the Warriors getting the #1 seed should not matter because the coaching staff is trusting that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will get out of their shooting slumps and Kevin Durant will come back strong and at least 80% of the dominant force he was before the injury.
Leonard and Aldridge are the only players on the Spurs roster with over 1,000 points this season, with backup point guard Patty Mills ranking third on the team with 603 points scored.
Aldridge is averaging 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Spurs, who are 50-14 and have the second-best record in the league.
Thunder 112, Jazz 104 Russell Westbrook had 33 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for his 32nd triple-double of the season, leading Oklahoma City to the victory.