|07 November 2012|
|Novica Velickovic last suited up for Serbia at EuroBasket 2009, helping his side clinch Silver|
Christmas is traditionally celebrated on 7 January in Serbia but national team coach Dusan Ivkovic will get an early present in mid-December.
Novica Velickovic, who last stepped on a basketball court in a Real Madrid shirt in the final game of the Spanish Liga Endesa play-offs last June, will return to action in about a month's time according to media reports in Serbia.
The power forward had a knee operation in the summer and was ruled out of participation in the Blues' EuroBasket 2013 qualifying campaign.
The 26-year-old Velickovic was instrumental in Serbia's march to the final at EuroBasket 2009 averaging 11.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
He joined Real Madrid immediately after conquering the silver medal in Poland and had a very promising start to the season with the legendary Spanish club.
However, lingering injury woes and miscommunication with then Real coach Ettore Messina meant that his playing time gradually decreased after the first months of his three-year stay in Madrid.
If Velickovic is to suit up for Serbia next summer for the first time in four years, he will first need to demonstrate that he can play again to the best of his abilities.
Few doubt that, if healthy, he could provide a serious boost to the frontline of any team in Europe but he has yet to sign with any club.
There is however speculation that he will join his former club Partizan and play again under coach Dusko Vujosevic.
"We would like to see Novica return," said the Belgrade powerhouse's Sporting Director Dragan Todoric.
"The door of the club is wide open for him, however at this point I cannot say how realistic it is that he will play again for us."
Velickovic played for Partizan during four seasons from 2005 through 2009, winning the Serbian league and Adriatic league titles in each one of his years at the club.