It was a one-step forward, one-step back situation for the Spurs on the injury front Friday.
In the former category, they welcomed the return of Lonnie Walker IV and his 11.4 points per game after the guard/forward missed nine consecutive games with a sore right wrist.
The Spurs upgraded Walker from questionable to available a few hours before they were set to arrive at Ball Arena for their game against the Denver Nuggets.
“It gives us another 3-point shooter and somebody who can attack the bucket because he has great speed,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It helps us offensively significantly. And defensively, he has been doing a good job learning about team defense. He guards the ball aggressively and plays with a lot of heart. We are very happy to have him back.”
But even with Walker’s return, the Spurs still weren’t whole. They were forced to downgrade backup big man Gorgui Dieng after he aggravated the right shoulder injury he suffered early in his debut as a Spur in a 120-106 win over Sacramento on March 31 at the AT&T Center.
Dieng missed two consecutive games before returning this week to play in two straight games. He reaggravated the injury in Wednesday’s 106-96 loss to Denver while fouling P.J. Dozier on a block attempt with 2:37 left in the third quarter.
Dieng grimaced while contesting Dozier’s shot. He did not play in the fourth quarter.
Popovich said he…