Velickovic Ruled Out For Serbia

24.08.2011

EUROBASKET 2011

12. Nenad Krstic (Serbia), 14. Novica Velickovic (Serbia)
Nenad Krstic will not be teaming up with Novica Velickovic in the frontcourt, while Serbia are also worried about Marko Keselj's condition

Serbia will head to the EuroBasket without key forward Novica Velickovic, who has lost his fitness battle with a muscle injury.

The Real Madrid star had been training alone as he tried to regain his fitness, and has missed all of Serbia's warm-up games.

After the team returned from the London Invitational Tournament this weekend, it was determined that Velickovic, who averaged more than 11 points per game at both  EuroBasket 2009 and the 2010 FIBA World Championship, would not recover in time.

"Novica has been able to improve his condition during his time with the national team, but the special program he has followed and the treatment he has received have still not been enough to make him healthy in time for EuroBasket," said team doctor Dragan Radovanovic.

"His current condition is not good enough for him to fulfil all the demands of a big competition like the EuroBasket."

Coach Dusan Ivkovic admitted his disappointment that Velickovic would be missing in Lithuania.

"There is no need to talk about how important Velickovic is to this team," he said. "Not just at his position, but also as someone who creates a good atmosphere within the group. Unfortunately, the hard work he has put in to try to recover was not enough."

Serbia also have an injury concern over Marko Keselj, who returned from London with a broken cheekbone suffered in the game against France.

The team are awaiting the results of scans taken on Tuesday before making an announcement on his status.


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