After missing just 21 combined games through his first two NBA seasons, San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell missed 14, including the last eight, this past season. The fourth-year guard played in only 38 of the possible 82 games in 2022-2023.

A foot injury that the team labeled a “stress reaction to the right third metatarsal head” kept the Spurs second leading scorer from finishing the season.

“I'm good. Compared to last year, the amount of games that I played is night and day. The minutes, everything. Obviously, it's unfortunate that I wasn't able to finish out the season. I wanted to finish it off but I'm in a good space right now,” Vassell said.

The previous season saw him undergo microscopic knee surgery in January before being sidelined for good in March after a nine-game return.

Devin Vassell's recovery

San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) shoots over New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) during the first half at Frost Bank Center.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

“I feel good. It's been getting better and better. It's more just, I guess, rest, ice recover, just kind of let it just heal on its own. I'm feeling better for sure,” Vassell said, all but confirming that an operation is not necessary at this time.

“For sure, I'd probably say in the next couple of weeks I'll start getting back going and really just getting going.”

Vassell's final game came in perhaps the Silver and Black's most thrilling contest of the season. The Spurs beat a New York Knicks squad that finished second in the East in overtime despite 61 points from Jalen Brunson. San Antonio got 40 points and 20 rebounds from rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama. The player who scored the third most points that night? Vassell. He notched 23 points to go along with seven assists.

That night would prove one of several great performances by San Antonio down the stretch. Two weeks later, they knocked off the defending champion Denver Nuggets while Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan – the team's second, third and fourth leading scorers – joined key reserves Malaki Branham and Cedi Osman in watching from the bench.

“I couldn't even sit down. It was just exciting. I was talking to my parents all throughout the night, just talking to them,” Vassell said of the win vs. the Nuggets. “It was just a huge win to see Devonte' [Graham], Mamu [Sandrokelashvili], players who weren't able to get that type of light that type of playing time to be able to come in and impact the game how they did was huge. I'm happy for them.”

“The unfortunate thing about that, especially with Devin and Jeremy, is that they were injured last year too down the stretch so they've missed those moments,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added.

For the season, the former Florida State Seminole finished second on the team in both points (19.5 points) and assists (4.1). The 33.1 minutes per contest he played easily proved a team high.

“Devin has turned into a confident scorer,” his Hall of Fame coach continued.

“He can shoot it, he can drive it. He's upped his defense understanding that no defense, no wins. He's made a big step in that regard.”

Next step for the 11th overall pick of the 2020 draft?

“I want to play all 82 next year. That's my goal.”