|Omri Casspi averaged 16.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in the EuroBasket Qualifying Round last summer|
Israel have suffered a major blow ahead of the EuroBasket with confirmation that Omri Casspi will be unable to play in Lithuania with a knee injury.
The Cleveland Cavaliers forward, the only Israeli ever to play in the NBA, was hurt in practice two weeks ago but had hoped to recover in time with the initial diagnosis suggesting he could be back on court within a fortnight of sustaining the injury.
However, that has not proved to be the case and he has now left the squad with only one week left until tip off.
"Omri Casspi has spoken to coach Arik Shivek on Tuesday to inform the coach that his knee is still not right and he has been told it will take more than the expected two weeks to recover," said a press release from the Israel Basketball Federation.
"Under the circumstances, the coach has decided to release Omri Casspi from his squad that will depart on Monday for the EuroBasket in Lithuania."
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.