(Reuters) - The San Antonio Spurs expect to have point guard Tony Parker in their lineup when they host the Miami Heat in Game One of the NBA Finals on Thursday, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Parker, the court general who runs the Spurs’ attack, sat out the entire second half of San Antonio’s Western Conference-clinching, Game Six overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday due to an ankle injury.
The San Antonio newspaper quoted a source saying that Parker “absolutely” will be ready to play.
Despite prevailing in the clincher without Parker, the Spurs would sorely miss the dazzling playmaker in their best-of-seven National Basketball Association championship rematch with the Heat.
Miami prevailed over San Antonio in seven grueling games last year to repeat as NBA champions.
Parker is averaging 17.2 points and 4.9 assists in the playoffs after putting up an average of 16.7 points and 5.7 assists during the regular season.
An official team update on Parker’s condition may not come until Tuesday when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich meets with the media for the first time since Saturday’s clincher.
Parker sprained his left ankle in Game Four of the Thunder series and aggravated it in Game Five, but gave it a try in the first half of the clinching game before taking a seat on the bench.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes