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Don't expect Jakob Poeltl back anytime soon says Spurs' Popovich

"I don't expect him this week," head coach Gregg Popovich said ahead of the team's contest versus Sacramento.

SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs enter their matchup against the Kings without starting center Jakob Poeltl and that will continue to be the norm for the immediate future.

"I don't expect him this week," head coach Gregg Popovich said ahead of the team's contest versus Sacramento.

The Spurs' starting center is currently in the health and safety protocols. He's missed the team's last three games and will miss the upcoming match against the Mavericks on Nov. 12 following Wednesday's game against the Kings.

After this week, Popovich is still in the dark about Poeltl's return.

"I'm not exactly sure. They tell me every day," Popovich said.

RELATED: REPORT: Spurs' Poeltl enters NBA health and safety protocols

The 7-foot-1 Austrian is having a stellar start to the new season.

He leads the team in rebounding (9.7 per game), blocks (1.1 per game), and offensive rebounding (5.7 per game).

He's also been a force on the offensive end averaging 13.9 points per game and shooting 64-percent from the field.

RELATED: Discussing the impact on the Spurs without Jakob Poeltl | Locked On Spurs

Per NBA protocols, Poeltl could be out for 10 days and when he does return, there will be other hurdles to jump over such as getting him back into game shape and readjusting back into the lineup.

The earliest he could be back in Nov. 14 against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

"I know he's not going to be ready for tomorrow [versus Kings] or Friday," Popovich said.

San Antonio has gone 1-2 without Poeltl and in his stead is Drew Eubanks.

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs forward Drew Eubanks (14) during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in San Antonio, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Eubanks is in the starting unit and is putting in yeoman's work.

He's recorded a double-double against the Thunder (14 points, 11 rebounds) on Nov. 7 and recorded seven blocks during Poeltl's absence.

And Popovich and his teammates appreciate what Eubanks is doing.

"He does what he does," Popovich said. "He's a rebounder. He defends."

"We miss Jak. He's a big presence in the middle," Keldon Johnson said. "Drew is filling in great. He's doing a great job. He's doing everything we ask him to do. It's cool having him out there."

Twitter at @KENS5 and at JeffGSpursKENS5