Italy Without Bargnani, Wait On Datome

20 August 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

7. Andrea Bargnani (Italy)
Bad news for Italy, as Andrea Bargnani will not suit up at EuroBasket 2013

The medical staff of the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) confirmed on Tuesday that center Andrea Bargnani will not recover from pneumonia in time to play at EuroBasket 2013.

"In light of the latest clinical results and after consulting the opinion of the medical sector of the federation, the FIP releases athlete Andrea Bargnani from presenting at the national team's training camp in Trieste," the federation announced in a statement on their website.

"Bargnani's situation has notably increased in the last days, but not to the point to allow his recuperation in time for EuroBasket 2013, which commences on 4 September.

"The FIP wishes to thank Bargnani for his efforts and wish him the best of luck for the future."

The New York Knicks big man joined Italy since the first day of preparations for the upcoming EuroBasket, but contracted the respiratory disease at the beginning of August and had to leave training camp and follow treatment ever since.

The 27-year-old center had averaged 22.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for Italy at EuroBasket 2011, his last major tournament with the national team.

The loss of Bargnani through illness is added to those of Danilo Gallinari and Daniel Hackett and now all Italy and head coach Simone Pianigiani can hope is that Luigi Datome will not become the fourth big name player to be forced to drop out of the squad.

Datome, who was voted as the best player in Italy's Serie A league last season and will join the Detroit Pistons in his rookie NBA season after the EuroBasket, sprained his ankle during Monday's friendly game against Poland in Belgium.

The talented forward is undergoing medical checks upon the return of the team to Italy to determine the extent of his injury.

A philosophical Pianigiani said "we must go over our own limits to be competitive and we have to be conscious that this is who we are and this is our level, by showing at least the right attitude," immediately after the loss to Poland and Datome's injury on Monday.

Unlike with Bargnani though, where it was impossible for the medical team to guesstimate the evolution of his condition, the coach should know for sure whether he can count on Datome by Wednesday at latest.

Italy were drawn into First Round Group D at EuroBasket 2013, together with Greece, Turkey, Russia, Sweden and Finland.


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