From Johannes Berendt, PA International, Braunschweig
Germany star Dirk Nowitzki’s ankle injury won’t rule him out of the coming Eurobasket tournament.
The German basketball federation (DBB) announced with huge relief on Monday that the injury their best player picked up on Sunday was not as serious as was first thought.
In the 14th-minute of Germany’s 76-68 defeat by France. the Dallas Mavericks star limped out after apparently stepping on an opponent’s foot.
“It´s just a minor sprain, no serious damage to the ligament or bone,” the DBB said on their official website.
“He has immediately started rehabilitation and his participation in the European Championships in Sweden is not endangered.”
Nowitzki covered his face with a towel as he left the court and was was taken to hospital.
It remains to be seen whether he will be able to play in Germany’s two other buildup games against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday and Italy on August 31.
Just two weeks ago, the German federation had inked an extra insurance deal worth 190,000 Euros.
Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was Monday upset about the risks his undisputed star takes when playing for his country.
He told the Dallas Morning News: “International competition is a for-profit big business. Why we as a league offer up our most valuable players is beside me.
"It's the equivalent of Microsoft paying Bill Gates to do promotions for and sell Linux software.
"The reality, though, is that because of the agreement struck between FIBA and the NBA, I don't have a say in most scenarios."
Nowitzki, however, has repeatedly stated that he enjoys playing for his country, describing it as "a big honour".