Casspi Misses Israel's Holland Trip With Injury


9. Omri Casspi (Israel)
A potential absence of Omri Casspi from EuroBasket 2011 would be a huge blow to Arik Shivek's team

Israel are sweating over the fitness of Omri Casspi after the Cleveland Cavaliers' big man took a nasty fall in practice on Wednesday and suffered an apparent muscular injury.

The start of the EuroBasket is in 20 days and Casspi, the only Israeli ever to play in the NBA, must now remain in Israel and miss the national team trip to the Netherlands for a warm-up tournament that also includes the Dutch side, and a couple of American college basketball teams.

He could also skip a scheduled friendly in Tbilisi against Georgia.

"We will return from the Netherlands in eight days and see what the condition of Omri is and accordingly, we will accept the decisions that are made," Israel coach Arik Shivek said.

"I had a conversation with the doctors and those sorts of injuries on the one hand you say, 'Thank God it was only that', it happens in basketball and after a certain stage of recovery, it is the first step, everything depends on the player and what he felt.

"As the doctor told me, 'After a few days it depends on the player himself,' and I hope that Omri would do anything to get back to the team as fast as he can."

Israel teammate Guy Pnini said: "Everyone understands and knows the importance of Omri to the team.

"Obviously it was a not a small blow for us but I also said before the last trip to Cyprus that we are missing some players. There are many good players to fill the void."

Casspi, who was traded by the Sacramento Kings to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this summer, led Israel in scoring last summer with an average of 16.9 points per game as they qualified for the EuroBasket.

Israel are in Group B with Italy, Serbia, France, Germany and Latvia.


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