|21 August 2013|
|Good news for Italy, as Luigi Datome has avoided serious injury and will play in Slovenia |
"Return to Italy and good news on the ankle, now to watch a quality Harry Potter," Italy forward Luigi Datome tweeted to his followers on Tuesday night.
It is safe to assume that no amount of spectacular magic tricks by the fictitious adolescent wizard could ever leave such an impression on Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani as the results of Datome's MRI scan that day.
The exam brought about the 'good news' the player mentioned in his tweet, just hours after Italy's hopes at EuroBasket 2013 had suffered a huge blow with the confirmation that star center Andrea Bargnani would not recover in time to join the team.
Italy desperately needed something positive to swift the mood on the team and, although hardly a magic trick, the news that Datome had avoided serious injury produced the desired result.
"In the afternoon, athlete Gigi Datome was submitted to an MRI scan on his left foot," the Italian basketball federation announced.
"The analysis has excluded damage to either the bone or the ligament, confirming the sprain."
Datome picked up the injury in Italy's warm-up game against Poland in Belgium and will now probably need to miss out on several days of practices and friendlies because of his sprained ankle, but he should be back to full fitness by the time the EuroBasket tips off on 4 September.
Serbia point guard Milos Teodosic meanwhile took a more realistic approach in a Tuesday interview, but his message gives plenty of hope to Serbian fans for a recovery from injury as magical as the entire Harry Potter saga.
"It is realistic for me to be in Slovenia," the Serbian star, who is undergoing treatment for the past three months, told b92.net.
"How much I will be able to contribute to the team, I do not know at this point.
"I have a huge desire to be with them there, whether it is just 10 minutes or 15, I do not know really, but I also would not like to predict.
"I would like to play in Slovenia and I hope to be there."
|Milos Teodosic is confident he will be with Serbia at EuroBasket 2013 |
Teodosic suffered a tibia injury during a CSKA Moscow game in late May and while he avoided surgery, the non-invasive rehabilitation process he followed has taken longer than initially expected to conclude.
"On Monday I did a part of practice with the rest of the team, and it made me really happy.
"I think it [my injury] is getting better, at one point, about 15 days ago, there was a problem and I thought that there will be no chance for me to go to Slovenia.
"But I am happy that I went through almost half a training session with the team, which is a positive thing," Teodosic added.
Further promising, if again not hard-solid positive, news for Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic came from forward Vladimir Lucic, who had raised alarm bells after retiring in pain from last weekend's warm-up game against France.
Lucic had already spent two weeks on the sidelines and had received the green light from doctors to re-join the team just two days before that game.
But on Tuesday, Lucic told zurnal.rs that he did not feel any discomfort.
"I'm better, I can move normally," he said.
"But before leaving for the tournament in France I also felt well for three days, I even participated in two full training sessions with the team.
"[The doctors said] I need to do additional exercises to strengthen my abdominal muscles and my back and that everything should be all right."
Italy were drawn in Group D at EuroBasket 2013, together with Russia, Finland, Turkey, Sweden and Greece.
Serbia meanwhile will go up against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Latvia and Montenegro in First Round Group B.