Neal on preparing after surgery, feels no pressure to fill Manu’s shoes


Once San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili suffered a fractured hand, Gary Neal was quickly brought back to the fold, however, he was on his way to Austin to join the Toros to rehab after undergoing appendectomy surgery.

So with perhaps the shortest stint in the D-League, was Neal ready to jump right back into the Spurs and contribute especially after coming off surgery? You bet he was.

“It was about a week after the surgery that I started getting on a bike and treadmill. About four or five days after that, I started getting on the court and doing workouts,” said Neal about his post-surgery workouts.

“I been working out probably about a week and a half before I started playing.”

And it seemed all that preparation paid off.

In his first action on the court, Neal has scored in double-figures since his return in four games including an 18 point outburst versus the Thunder and a 4-7 three-point barrage against the Mavericks.

And the Spurs will need his scoring punch. With Ginobili out of action for some time, many are looking at Neal as one player who will need to step up with Manu out of commission. But when asked if he feels any added pressure, Neal put it succinctly.