|05 July 2013|
|Youngsters Nikola Kalinic (pictured) and Nemanja Krstic have been belatedly included in Serbia's preliminary squad|
The '4' spot will be a major headache for Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic at EuroBasket 2013, as after the already confirmed absence of Dusko Savanovic, both Novica Velickovic and Zoran Erceg have pulled out of the preliminary squad.
Savanovic, who had announced he would be unable to take part in preparations in an interview in mid-June, along with the other two star power forwards was submitted to an exam by the Serbian basketball federation's medical committee on Thursday.
"Following the examination and the diagnosis of the federation's doctors, Dusko Savanovic, Novica Velickovic and Zoran Erceg have been omitted from the list," Ivkovic himself announced.
Savanovic and Erceg had largely shared the power forward position in last summer's Qualification Round and combined for 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.
The Anadolu Efes player however is suffering from a herniated disc while Erceg had torn his Achilles tendon in the autumn and underwent surgery, although he came back and finished the club season with CSKA Moscow.
Velickovic on the other hand last suited up for the national team at the World Championship 2010 and had been sidelined since the Spanish Liga Endesa play-offs last summer while he was still playing for Real Madrid, until returning to action late in the season with Serbian club Mega Vizura.
Ivkovic added that to compensate for the absence of the trio he had invited Nemanja Krstic from the U20 Serbia side and Nikola Kalinic of the Universiade team to join preparations with the senior national team.
"We will continue to monitor the performances of the youth teams and consult with their coaches," added the coach, who might make further additions to his preliminary squad later in the summer.
The first gathering of the players on the Serbian preliminary squad is on 8 July in Belgrade, with training camp starting shortly after.
The modified Serbian preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013 consists of 19 players:
Milos Teodosic, Stefan Markovic, Vasilije Micic, Nemanja Nedovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Andjusic, Nemanja Bjelica, Nemanja Dangubic, Vladimir Lucic, Vladimir Micov, Milan Macvan, Stefan Bircevic, Nenad Krstic, Rasko Katic, Vladimir Stimac, Djordje Gagic, Dejan Musli, Nemanja Krstic and Nikola Kalinic.