|31 August 2013|
|Roko Leni Ukic is included in Croatia's EuroBasket roster, but there are still question marks over his fitness |
Croatia head coach Jasmin Repesa will not have the luxury of deciding which player to cut from his final EuroBasket 2013 roster, as an injury to Marko Tomas has left the squad with exactly 12 players.
The winger picked up a muscle injury during Thursday's practice session and an MRI scan on Friday confirmed that he will need to undergo medical treatment for the next three to four weeks, which rules him out of the EuroBasket.
"All five times I have torn a muscle in my career it happened to me while dribbling the ball, not on defence," the disappointed 28-year-old told Vecernji List daily.
Tomas missed out on EuroBasket 2009 and only played in Croatia's first two games at EuroBasket 2011, because of a similar injury.
The Croatian international knew immediately that this muscle rupture would prevent him from enjoying the tournament once again.
"When you feel a small pain in the muscle you need to pause for a week or two, a little more burning means a lay-off of three to four weeks," he said.
"And this time it stung more, so I hope at least that my season is not ruined."
On Wednesday, Repesa had decided to release big man Darko Planinic from the squad and said that he would announce his final 12-man roster for the EuroBasket on Sunday, but the injury to Tomas has already left the coach with only 12 players.
Roko Leni Ukic is among them, but it is questionable whether the veteran point guard will arrive in Slovenia fully fit, as he is daily submitted to injection treatment for persistent pains in his Achilles heel.
Unless coach Repesa decides to call upon a reserve player during the last four days before the tournament, Croatia's roster at EuroBasket 2013 will consist of Roko Ukic, Ante Delas, Dontaye Draper, Bojan Bogdanovic, Krunoslav Simon, Damjan Rudez, Dario Saric, Luka Zoric, Luksa Andric, Mario Delas, Damir Markota and Ante Tomic.
Croatia were drawn in First Round Group C, together with Spain, Slovenia, Poland, Georgia and the Czech Republic..