Eurobasket was supposed to be the perfect tournament for Italy’s Andrea Bargnani to re-discover his form ahead of the NBA season with the New York Knicks.
But, after announcing his involvement with the Italian national squad and his eagerness for the event to begin, Bargnani unfortunately will not be involved.
The Italian national team’s medical staff announced that the former Toronto Raptors center will not recover from pneumonia in time to play in Slovenia in 13 days time.
It is a huge blow to Bargnani, who suffered an injury-hit season with the Raptors last year, playing in just 30 out of the 82 games and unable to reach the levels of his number 1 NBA Draft pick ranking in 2006.
“I am very happy to play for the national team again, I can’t wait,” Bargnani said back in July.
“Especially because I am coming from a season with injury problems so I miss being on the court for many minutes, I miss the games, the competitiveness.
“So I am very excited to start training again with my team-mates.”
The 7-footer had been undergoing a personal training program in Rome to prepare for Italy’s training camp, which began in July. However before the camp started, he contracted a respiratory system infection, had a high fever and is still undergoing therapy.
“In light of the latest clinical results and after consulting the opinion of the medical sector of the federation, the FIP releases athlete Andrea Bargnani from presenting at the national team’s training camp in Trieste,” the Italian Basketball Federation announced in a statement on their website.
“Bargnani’s situation has notably increased in the last days, but not to the point to allow his recuperation in time for EuroBasket 2013, which commences on 4 September.
“The FIP wishes to thank Bargnani for his efforts and wish him the best of luck for the future.”
There is some good news for Italy though as forward Luigi Datome’s MRI on an ankle show no signs of notable damage and he should recover in time to play a role at Eurobasket.
Detome tweeted in celebration of the news: “Return to Italy and good news on the ankle, now to watch a quality Harry Potter.”
Italy will play their games in Koper and are housed in Group D alongside Russia, Turkey, Greece, Sweden and Finland.