Tiago Splitter, the Spurs’ starting center in 55 of the final 56 regular-season games and the first three games of their first-round playoff series against the Lakers

He isn’t expected to practice before Monday’s Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Golden State Warriors, according to coach Gregg Popovich.

Still recovering from a sprained left ankle suffered in a Game 3 victory over the Lakers on April 26, the team’s second-leading rebounder (6.4 per game) during the regular season is doubtful to suit up for Game 1.

After expressing pessimism that Splitter would be able to practice before Monday, Popovich assessed what the big man’s absence might mean for his team against a Warriors front line anchored by 7-foot center Andrew Bogut, who had 21 rebounds in Golden State’s series-clinching victory over Denver on Thursday.

“Well, everybody would like to have a full rotation,” he said. “It looks like (Warriors forward) David Lee is getting ready to play and I’m sure they’re happy about that. The more the merrier.”

Popovich said Spurs forward-center Boris Diaw looked good in Thursday’s practice but stopped short of declaring him available for Monday’s game.