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Navarro to miss group stages

03 September 2007
By Jeff Taylor

World champions Spain have lost starting guard Juan Carlos Navarro for the first three games of the EuroBasket due to a leg injury.

The 1.91m Navarro felt pain in his right leg and had tests which showed a slight tear in his abductor muscle.

Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain)
Navarro suffered a
tear in his abductor muscle
With power forward Jorge Garbajosa having only just been cleared to play, Spain will not be at full strength in today’s opening Group B encounter against Portugal in Seville.

“Yesterday, I had a test done and it didn’t come out well,” Navarro said.

“This is really a setback, having really worked hard over the past month. But I’m not worried. We’ve got enough players to replace me.”

Garbajosa is only expected to see limited action since he missed all of the warm-up games while attempting to get a proper medical insurance following an operation on his ankle joint and fibula at the end of March.

Therefore, Spain coach Pepu Hernandez will go deep to his bench in Seville, where they will also play Latvia and Croatia.

The host nation will still be expected to advance to the next phase of the competition.

“I will work hard to be available on Friday,” Navarro said.

“If we were playing in a final today, I would make myself available.”

Navarro clinched a move to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies earlier this summer and will join the team for the upcoming season after this tournament.

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