|22 June 2013|
|Erazem Lorbek will miss the EuroBasket after undergoing surgery in both knees|
The hopes of EuroBasket 2013 host nation Slovenia were dealt a serious blow on Friday night, when star player Erazem Lorbek picked up a phone and made two calls to transmit bad news.
The FC Barcelona Regal power forward got in touch with Slovenia head coach Bozidar Maljkovic and national team director Matej Avanzo to inform them that he would need to follow a two-month long rehabilitation process and would therefore be unable to play at the EuroBasket.
Lorbek underwent arthroscopic surgery in both knees on Friday in Spain and while the operation was successful, doctors said that he could not resume training before late August, with the EuroBasket commencing on 4 September.
The 29-year-old was submitted to the operation immediately after the end of the Spanish Liga Endesa Finals, where his team lost the league title to arch-rivals Real Madrid.
He averaged only seven points and 3.2 rebounds per night in the five games of the title series, at the end of a season which had been by far his most discreet since joining the Catalan powerhouse in 2009 - he averaged 10 points, three rebounds and one assist in the Spanish league.
Lorbek broke onto the big stage at the European Championship for Junior Men in 2002 and made his debut with the senior national team at EuroBasket 2005.
He was a linchpin of the Slovenian side in each one of the following three continental championships, with his best performances in the white and green jersey coming at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland, when he averaged 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game to lead his team to the semi-finals.
The EuroBasket hosts were drawn into First Round Group C and will do battle with reigning European champions Spain, Georgia, Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic for a top-three finish that leads to the next phase of the tournament.