Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge to have MRI on injured left knee

WASHINGTON (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge will have an MRI on his injured left knee, with the San Antonio Spurs hoping they wont be forced to try to make the playoffs without another star player.

Aldridge left the Spurs 116-106 loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night with a bruised left knee, the latest blow in a season that has included Kawhi Leonard being limited to nine games with a nagging quadriceps injury. Aldridge is the biggest reason San Antonios season hasnt been derailed by Leonards absence — and a tough schedule ahead makes the matchup-nightmare centers status worth watching.

“Hes been playing with that bad knee for a while now, so hopefully its not too bad,” guard Tony Parker said. “Were going to need him vs. OKC.”

The Spurs host the Oklahoma City on Thursday and Houston Rockets on Sunday before visiting the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Theyre sixth in the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Clippers and Denver Nuggets behind them in the standings.

Its impossible to overstate Aldridges value at this point in the season.

“We are at a point if LaMarcus gets a cough, a cold, we are in deep trouble,” Manu Ginobili said. “So hopefully its just a one half thing because if not its really going to get tough to score down the stretch. Weve got tough opponents. Were playing against teams that need wins. Hopefully its nothing.”

Coach Gregg Popovich said Aldridge would get the injury checked out Wednesday morning. Aldridge had a game-high 13 points when he limped off late in the second quarter and is averaging 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds this season as the Spurs most productive player.

“I think everybody (has to step up),” guard Danny Green said. “Weve got to stay focused. Nobody is going to feel bad for us.”

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