Urologist Brian Steixner Talks Testicle Injuries

Last week, Spurs guard, Manu Ginobili, took a knee to the groin and wound up leaving the game and heading into surgery. He's expected to be off the basketball court for a month.

There's been some speculation about the extent of his injury, and how it compares to other recent testicle injuries. Other athletes have been back in the game much faster.

SB Nation has a round up of recent injuries and the length of time-out-to-heal here.

"Athletes have suffered testicle injuries before, but Ginobili's projected absence of a month is unusually long. Jazz guard John Starks had a testicle removed due to testicular torsion during the 2001 playoffs, and was playing within five days. Red Wings forward Nicklas Lidstrom had emergency surgery on his testicles after being speared by Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp in the 2009 playoffs, but missed about a week."

For a definitive answer to the "how bad could Ginobili's injury be" question, we reached out to Brian L. Steixner M.D., Medical Director, Institute for Men’s Health, Jersey Urology Group.

His answer? Traumas that don't require surgery shouldn't keep an athlete out of the game longer than two to three weeks, max. But torsion, where the testicle twists on itself, requires surgery. "This means he is out for 4 weeks after surgery to untwist it." Steixner said.

Worse than that is a rupture, which requires putting the testicle back together. "This is surgery and requires 4 weeks to heal (if they save it!)"

So, speculation aside, we wish Ginobili all the best as he recovers from his injury, and hope to see him back on the court soon!