Problems Pile On For Italy

07 September 2015
3. Marco Belinelli (Italy)
Marco Belinelli is a game-time decision for Tuesday

Italy captain Luigi Datome will not take to the court again at EuroBasket 2015, even if the Azzurri advance to Lille, while Marco Belinelli is a game-time decision for Tuesday's game against Spain.

Datome, who had suffered a muscle injury in Sunday's game against Iceland, was initially believed to be ruled out for the remainder of Group B action, but Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani announced the final diagnosis was even worse than feared at first.

"Gigi's EuroBasket is over and it's obvious that it's a blow for all of us," Pianigiani said.

"He had marked this championship in the calendar since last year, he worked so hard all summer to be at the best level after not playing so much this year.

"He will remain with the rest of the guys and the team until the end of our campaign."

Italy star Danilo Gallinari meanwhile said that Datome's unfortunate situation should serve as additional motivation for Tuesday's vital clash.

"I am sad for him, I've been through many similar situations and I know that it is tough for him mentally right now," Gallinari said.

"I think that the fact he will stay with us until the end might help him feel a bit better sooner."

While Italy already knew since Monday morning that they would not be able to count on their captain at least for the remaining games in Berlin, an additional problem arose after it emerged that star guard Marco Belinelli has picked up a knock.

"Belinelli has a hematoma and I am waiting for the therapists to tell me tomorrow [Tuesday] if he will be fit to play," Pianigiani said.

"We never risk a player's health, if he is not fit then we will play with the players we have."

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