(Reuters) - Manu Ginobili will miss the NBA season opener for the San Antonio Spurs due to a back ailment, the team said on Monday
The Spurs kick off their campaign on Wednesday at the New Orleans Hornets but they will do so without Argentine guard Ginobili.
The 35-year-old Ginobili, a three-times NBA champion and two-times All Star, will be re-evaluated in advance of Thursday's game against Oklahoma City.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has never hesitated to rest ailing players and team mate Tim Duncan was unperturbed by Ginobili's injury.
"He'll be fine. It's a long season, there are way too many games between now and when it really matters," Duncan told the team's website (nba.com/spurs).
"We're going to get him back to 100 percent and get him back on the floor."
Ginobili missed his share of games with injury last season, when he averaged 12.9 points and 4.4 assists.
The Spurs captured the top seed in the Western Conference in 2011-2012 but lost to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. (Reporting by Jahmal Corner, editing by Nick Mulvenney)