San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has expressed his disappointment of not being able to play for Argentina at the FIBA World Cup later this month.
Ginobili, 36, injured his right leg just after the Spurs’ Finals triumph over the Miami Heat in June.
In his column for Argentinean outlet La Nacion, Ginobili also stated that this World Cup would have been his last international event before he called it quits and focused on the NBA.
His wish of putting on the Argentina jersey one last time though has been denied.
“I very much regret the bad news. I wanted to say goodbye to the team on the court and be with my friends, but it cannot be,” Ginobili wrote. “I’ll be with the team as long as possible, trying to add from the outside and supporting at all times.”
Ginobili’s effort can not be called into question though; he mentioned in his column that he spent 42 days resting the injury by not training at all, and even seeked medication behind the Spurs’ back by asking FIBA for advice.
Once the veteran stepped up his training programme, he got his answer.
“I did a lot of treatment and a lot of stretching, and it seemed to be a little better, but when on Wednesday I began to force more to run and shoot in the gym, at the end of the training session the pain reappeared in the same place of the original fibular fracture,” Ginobili said.
“That basically gave the final blow to the expectations I had to assemble some kind of plan to play in Spain, since asking the mediation of FIBA made almost no sense given that obviously the injury isn’t completely healed.”
Argentina will play in Group B of the World Cup, where they will face Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Senegal and Philippines. The tournament begins August 30.