|21 May 2013|
|Linas Kleiza's possible return to the Lithuanian line-up would significantly boost the morale in the camp of coach Kazlauskas|
Linas Kleiza, Paulius Jankunas and Martynas Pocius were named in the 15-strong Lithuanian national team preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013 that head coach Jonas Kazlauskas announced in Vilnius on Tuesday.
The trio were doubtful because of health issues but Kazlauskas had hinted at a press conference at the start of the month that he was optimistic they would recover in time to join Lithuania's training camp, which gets under way on 15 July.
Kleiza last featured in a competitive game with the Toronto Raptors in December, while both Zalgiris Kaunas captain Jankunas, who underwent shoulder surgery in February, and Pocius, who was operated to deal with a stress fracture in his right ankle in March, have not yet returned to action.
However small forward Simas Jasaitis, who turned 31 in March and had reported for international duty with the senior team uninterruptedly since 2004, is not included in the preliminary team.
"He wants to rest and as a coach I understand," said Kazlauskas on Tuesday.
"Simas has played quite a few years and has had serious injuries, he now just wants everything to heal."
As expected, veterans Sarunas Jasikevicius, Rimantas Kaukenas and Darius Songaila will also not be on the team that will travel to Slovenia for the EuroBasket.
|Expected late for camp: Jonas Valanciunas|
Center Jonas Valanciunas, who has just completed a very promising rookie NBA season with the Toronto Raptors will join national team preparations at a later stage as he will take part with his team in the Las Vegas summer league.
Another center who had his first season in the NBA this year, Donatas Motiejunas, is also on the team after reaching the western conference play-offs with the Houston Rockets.
The Baltic country's first test will be on home soil, in the form of two back-to-back warm-up games against Belgium on 5 and 6 August.
Lithuania's EuroBasket 2013 preliminary squad: Mantas Kalnietis, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Paulius Jankunas, Jonas Maciulis, Robertas Javtokas, Martynas Gecevicius, Adas Juskevicius, Darjus Lavrinovic, Ksistof Lavrinovic, Tomas Delininkaitis, Renaldas Seibutis, Martynas Pocius, Linas Kleiza, Donatas Motiejunas and Jonas Valanciunas.