It's been earlier reported that San Antonio Spurs backup point guard Derrick White is expected to miss six to eight weeks after suffering from a foot injury, but head coach Gregg Popovich says his recovery could go down to just two to four weeks.
There has been a string of bad news for the Spurs just before the start of the regular season. Rookie Lonnie Walker IV sustained a meniscus tear on his right knee followed by starting point guard Dejounte Murray, who tore his right ACL in a preseason game against the Houston Rockets.
White, meanwhile, was ruled out with a left plantar fascia tear and the original timeline was thought to be two months. Furthermore, small forward Rudy Gay looks like he could miss the regular season opener as a precautionary measure for the inflamed bursa in his heel.
However, the Spurs have some good news to look forward to with Popovich announcing that White could wind up missing just up to one month of playing time as opposed to the original timeline.
One bit of possible good news for Spurs: After saying maybe six to eight weeks on White this morning, Pop said it might only end up being two to four.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 12, 2018
With Murray, a solid all-around point guard, missing extensive time, the Spurs were put in a hole with the news that White would miss up to two months with the injury.
White is a bigger guard at 6-foot-5 and has a scoring mentality that is perfect for him since he can score from anywhere on the floor. He was a seldom-used player as a rookie, only appearing in 17 games and averaging 3.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 8.2 minutes per game (14.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per 36 minutes).
He averaged 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in 24 games for the Spurs' NBA G-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs.
His scoring ability is the most pronounced part of his game, but he's learning how to be a more impactful defensive player with the Spurs. He's not an elite athlete, which was the biggest knock on him leaving college. Nonetheless, San Antonio has had plenty of players walk through their doors that weren't the fastest, quickest or most explosive players.
The Spurs made them smarter players and that's a trend that has continued with White.
After averaging 18.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal per game in Summer League play, White averaged 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.8 blocks per 36 minutes in the preseason (per NBA Advanced Stats). Whenever he returns, the Spurs will be ready for him to step up and be their starting point guard until Murray recovers.
Until that time, Patty Mills appears the most likely candidate to be San Antonio's starter in the season opener.