Injury concern for the Olympic hosts

With their Olympic preparations over, Great Britain face a serious injury crisis as they get ready for their first game at London 2012 against Russia on Sunday night.

A short-handed British team were with without Mike Lenzly, Joel Freeland and Dan Clark as the Olympic hosts got thrashed 79-56 by Belgium on Sunday. Luol Deng and Robert Archibald were rested to avoid the risk of possible injury but both are expected to feature against Russia in their opening Group B clash.

Freeland picked up a knock on the eve of Saturday’s game with Tunisia, which GB also lost and is expected to recover in time for the Games, but coach Chris Finch is sweating over the fitness of Clark, who injured his ankle late in the game against the Belgians and Lenzly has a suspected torn calf muscle, which he sustained against USA on Thursday.

Ogo Adegboye, who has remained with the squad, would replace Lenzly if the Oxford-born guard is ruled out. Teams can replace injured players until 10am Friday morning, less than 24 hours before the Games begin and 48 hours before the men’s tournament starts.

British Basketball officials have said that Clark’s injury isn’t too bad but it is a scare for Finch as Great Britain’s target of a quarter-final birth in London look to have taken a huge bump.

It hasn’t been a happy few months for Great Britain, who have won just two out of their 12 Olympic warm-up games with both those wins coming against Portugal in Sheffield. They were beaten twice by their first Olympic opponents Russia in Houston, Texas in late-June.