San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili apparently played through a stress fracture in his right leg during the team's run to a fifth NBA title this season.
Speaking on Friday in Buenos Aires, in the first stop of a tour in which 12 different Spurs players will show off the NBA championship trophy in their hometowns around the world, Ginobili said he still hoped to play for Argentina in the Basketball World Cup, which starts in Spain in late August.
Ginobili said he had a stress fracture in his tibia, near his right ankle. It's the same area that he injured in 2009, but he said this time the damage is less serious.
"I have four weeks to recover. The injury is going to heal," he said.
Ginobili admitted that Spurs team doctors had indicated they would prefer it if he didn't play in the World Cup, but if Argentinian team doctors rule him fit, he wants to play.
"I don't play because of patriotism," he said. "I play because I enjoy it, and because I love my teammates. I have great enthusiasm, but I want to play healthy.
Ginobili averaged 14.3 points and 4.1 assists in 23 NBA playoff games this season, and helped the Spurs beat the Miami Heat in five games in the NBA Finals to capture San Antonio's fifth NBA crown.