Italy Sweat Over Bargnani Health

07 August 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

7. Andrea Bargnani (Italy)
Andrea Bargnani has become ill on the eve of Italy's first warm up game ahead of EuroBasket

Italy are playing their first friendly game on Wednesday night, in Trento against Georgia, but on Tuesday they learnt that neither Andrea Bargnani nor Achille Polonara will be taking to the court.

Bargnani has had to stop any training activity, as he contracted a respiratory system infection, has high fever and is undergoing therapy.

Although speculation about the big man's recovery times is rife, there is no indication right now to suggest his participation at the EuroBasket is under jeopardy.

The New York Knicks player however will definitely not overcome the infection by the time the curtain comes down on the Trentino Basket Cup tournament, so he will also not play against Israel or Poland, Italy's next opponents after their premiere with Georgia.

"The absence of Andrea Bargnani because of this fever is one more problem in our preparations," Italy coach Simone Pianigiani said.

"It disrupts our technical process by not allowing us to make use of options that only a center with the characteristics of 'il Mago' [Bargnani] can give us.

"We are a bit disappointed and a bit angry, but at the same time the positive spirit that we have constructed on the court during training camp will have to become more concrete in Trento with a good attitude."

Polonara on the other hand has picked up an ankle injury and will not recover in time to play at EuroBasket and Pianigiani has released him from the preliminary squad.

The young forward, who was voted as the best U21 player in the Serie A last season and had a very good showing with play-off finalists Varese this year, was hoping to play in his first major tournament with the senior national team in Slovenia.

Polonara's absence is added to those of Danilo Gallinari, who tore his ACL in NBA action last spring, and Daniel Hackett, who decided to not participate at the EuroBasket with Italy.

The Azzuri were drawn into First Round Group D at the EuroBasket, together with Greece, Russia, Sweden, Finland and Turkey.


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