Russia have been dealt a huge blow ahead of Eurobasket with the news that Andrey Vorontsevich will miss the tournament due to an ankle injury.
Vorontsevich injured the ankle during Russia’s friendly with Finland in Vilnius last Friday. The 26-year-old fell to the floor following a nasty collision with another player.
The fall resulted in a deep cut which required eight stitches. Vorontsevich was then transported to a local medical facility where an MRI scan showed a severe ankle sprain, which requires keeping his foot in plaster for at least three weeks.
“For us it is a great loss, Vorontsevich not only was on the final 12-man team, he was a player on our starting five,” Russia coach Vasily Karasev said.
“I very much hope that in this difficult situation, the team will come together and will not give up.”
It’s no doubt been a difficult summer for Russia with the controversial departure of coach Fotis Katsikaris, which was then followed by an injury to Timofey Mozgov as well as withdraws from Viktor Khryapa and the retirement of Andrei Kirilenko.
Despite the setback, Russia have kept on competing and despite defeats to Latvia and Eurobasket hosts Slovenia, they have notched wins against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Finland.
The Olympic bronze medallists will be in Group D in the seaside town of Koper with Greece, Turkey, Italy, Finland and Sweden.