by Ryne Nelson

Yes, it’s true–the Spurs are getting their Manu back. The fact that the Spurs were able go 6-6 with only Tim Duncan, George Hill and a twirl of cotton candy speaks volumes about their potential to rebound as the team gets healthy.

Manu had long targeted tonight’s game against the Grizzlies to return from his offseason ankle surgery. He’s been in full-contact scrimmages for the past week. From Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich agrees: Manu Ginobili is ready to play.

The Spurs guard, who missed the team’s first 12 games while recovering from September ankle surgery, will make his season debut tonight at Memphis, Popovich confirmed after this morning’s shootaround.

The southpaw Argentinean must have shown dramatic improvement over the past week. As McDonald writes, Popovich all but denied Ginobili’s request to play as recent as last week.

Manu’s not going to play significant minutes, but if Popovich signs off on letting his star play, all must be safe. And with Tony Parker returning in the first week of December, the Spurs are back in the conversation.