Injured Gortat Casts Doubt On Poland

08.03.2013

EUROBASKET 2013

Marcin Gortat (Poland)
Marcin Gortat has suggested a foot injury sustained earlier this week will rule him out of action this summer

Recently-installed Polish national team head coach Dirk Bauermann probably received the news of Marcin Gortat sustaining an injury in NBA Wednesday night action only with fleeting preoccupation - at least initially.

The Phoenix Suns' Polish center stepped on the foot of an opponent during the first quarter of his team's 98-71 home loss to the Toronto Raptors and heard something going 'pop' in his right foot's arch.

The injury is enough to bring an end to his 182-game-long streak of uninterrupted appearances with the Suns since joining the Arizona team in December 2010.

Gortat underwent an MRI scan the following day and the results showed he will have to keep his foot in a cast for at least the next three weeks.

"I'm definitely not going to work all this just to come back for one or two games, I'd rather just rest the remainder of the year," he said, indicating that he will most probably not play again this season.

The Regular Season ends on 17 April and the Suns have lost all hope of making the play-offs, as they currently have a 21-40 record and are 11 games behind the eighth-placed team in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz.

What the Polish center said later though, must have certainly made Bauermann feel very, very uneasy.

"I can tell you one thing: I'm going to definitely consider not going to the national team again and not playing another 20 games in the off-season," Gortat told US reporters on Thursday.

Gortat was instrumental in Poland's successful qualifying campaign for EuroBasket 2013 last summer, averaging a double-double of 21.1 points and 11.6 rebounds over their eight Group E games.

The 'Polish Machine' has played through minor injuries before, notably a broken nose.

He had famously purchased expensive medical equipment for treating injuries that was sitting at home gathering dust for the last years.

"Even a few weeks ago I said, ‘I spent all that money for that equipment and I'm never going to use it,'" he said laughing.

The injury Gortat sustained on Wednesday in itself, despite snapping his impressive attendance record, is not so significant in the big scheme of things from the tough-as-nails big man's perspective.

If it influences his decision to play in the big event in Slovenia however, the consequences of this incident could be enormous for the Polish national team.

The Suns will be the first to feel the impact that the absence of Gortat's services can have on a team.

"I got a few messages from friends and players around the league (the NBA) that say now they (Phoenix) are really going to see what it means to play without a center and a guy who sacrifices a lot for the team," the Polish international said.

"I personally want them to win because I know how it is to be on a team that loses all the time.

"But they're going to have a tough job."


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