In his pregame press conference before the San Antonio Spurs face the Heat in Miami Wednesday, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said injured guard Derrick White will likely miss the remainder of the season.
“I don’t expect him back this season,” said Popovich when asked how long White could be out.
The Spurs are down to the final 12 games of their season and are currently in play for the play-in game. White injured his ankle in Monday’s win over the Washington Wizards.
With White out, Popovich said the Spurs will start Devin Vassell in his place to keep Lonnie Walker IV off the bench. Popovich said the bench unit needs Walker IV’s impact similar to how past Spurs teams used to rely on Manu Ginobili in his 6th man role off the bench.
White has had a tough 2020-2021 season. He had to start late after having offseason surgery, then as soon as he came back, he suffered a toe injury just after one game back. Once his toe healed, he got to play in a few games, but then, he and several of his teammates tested positive for Covid-19 and were out for a number of games. Before injuring his ankle Monday, White was having the best of month of his season.
In 15 April games, White was averaging 18.1 points (second on the team), 3.9 assists, and one block per game. He was attempting 7.6 threes per game and he was making 36% of those three pointers. The Spurs were also having a good stretch defensively, especially in limiting the number and percent of opponent three and wide open three pointers.
Popovich did say White wouldn’t need surgery on his ankle, likely meaning with just two weeks of the regular season left, there probably wouldn’t have been enough time for White to heal and return to the team for this season.