The San Antonio Spurs had their postseason destroyed by injuries, beginning with Tony Parker going down with a grueling torn quadriceps tendon injury.
Parker's injury in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs wasn't enough to keep the Spurs from advancing, but Kawhi Leonard's ankle injury would be too much to overcome against the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals.
Leonard's injury, especially at 26, was nothing to worry about. Parker's quadriceps injury, however, was and is something to harbor concern for. At 35 years old and having plenty of basketball mileage logged, Parker tearing one of the largest muscle groups in the human body is a scary prospect.
Projections for Parker's return to play varied wildly, with legitimate concerns about the seasoned veteran and four-time NBA champion being able to return to form. Suffering major injuries, like the one Parker suffered, often leads to significantly declined performance.
Worse, this type of major injury has a much longer recovery timetable. Parker vowed to come back better and stronger shortly after the Spurs diagnosed the injury, and from the sounds of things he's working toward doing exactly that.
Spurs teammate Danny Green spoke with French site LCI and discussed the status of Parker, and his update should provide plenty of optimism for Spurs fans hoping their franchise point guard will be back strong and sooner than anticipated.
"He (Tony Parker) obviously had a tough injury last year but he's recovering. He's a couple of months ahead of schedule... I don't want to leak anything but he might be playing a lot sooner than people think he's playing," Green said, according to Jeff Garcia of NEWS4SA.
Initial projections pinned Parker's return window to January, which would be approximately 2.5 months of the NBA's regular season. That league's decision to start the season weeks earlier than usual certainly hurts San Antonio as Parker works to return to form.
"He's been doing his rehab like a monster, like a maniac. He's been working out like a maniac and mentally he's really focused and trying to get his body healthy and get it right. You'll probably be seeing Tony playing a lot sooner than what most people expect him to be back by," Green said.
Parker promised to focus on recovery during the offseason and, based on Green's update, seems to be doing exactly that. It's unclear how far "ahead of schedule" he may or may not be, but any positive update is good news for Spurs fans.