Pocius Could Miss Start Of Preparations

22 March 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

7. Martynas Pocius (Lithuania)
Martynas Pocius hopes to recover properly after the surgery and be ready for Lithuania's training camp

'Going in, see y'all later' Martynas Pocius tweeted to his followers on Friday morning, as he was about to enter the operating room in a hospital in Kaunas.

The Lithuanian international underwent surgery to deal with stress fracture in his right ankle, an injury that has kept him sidelined since February.

The initial diagnosis was that the Real Madrid guard would be back in action by mid-April but now, following the surgery, sources in Lithuania and Spain concur that his recuperation will last approximately three months, but it could take him up to four months to reappear on a basketball court.

That would coincide roughly with the start of the Lithuanian national team's preparations for EuroBasket 2013.

"Now at least I can hope to recover in time to make Lithuania's training camp," Pocius told website 15min.lt

"This provides me with the most motivation."

"I met the doctors a few weeks ago, during the game in Kaunas [Zalgiris vs. Real in the Euroleague]," he explained.

"After examining me, they confirmed that I needed surgery.

"The club [Real] did not object for me to go back to Lithuania and have the doctors here take care of it."

The 26-year-old guard's contract with the Madrid powerhouse expires in June and the club season is effectively over for him.

Problems with his right foot had started earlier in the season, and he had only featured sporadically for Real in Liga Endesa and the Turkish Airlines Euroleague from December until the stress fracture was diagnosed.

In the 15 games he managed to play with Real in the Spanish league this season, he averaged 5.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game while his participation in the Euroleague was more limited and he posted 3.2 points and 0.8 rebounds on average.

Pocius has none the less been a key player for Lithuania in the last three major international tournaments, since making the jump to the senior national team at the 2010 World Championship.

He averaged 8.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game at EuroBasket 2011, which was hosted in Lithuania, and contributed 7.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest in last summer's Olympic tournament in London.

Lithuania head coach Jonas Kazlauskas is expected to announce his preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013 in June.

In February, Kazlauskas had received similar - in terms of recuperation time - news of an operation to one of his main candidates for the squad.

Zalgiris captain Paulius Jankunas underwent shoulder surgery, but is expected to return to action by June at latest.

The EuroBasket tips off in Slovenia on 4 September and Lithuania face Serbia in their opening game.

The rest of their opponents in First Round Group B are F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Latvia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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