Less than three weeks after he was caught calling Hapoel Tel Aviv player Jonathan Skjoldebrand a Nazi during the derby, Guy Pnini was back in training with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday.

Pnini was suspended indefinitely, stripped of the captaincy and fined NIS 100,000 for the incident, but he is now set to return to action in Maccabi’s upcoming Euroleague Top 16 opener at Montepaschi Siena on Thursday night.

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Pnini will have to wait slightly longer before he returns to play in the BSL, with the Israel Basketball Association suspending him for four games, meaning he won’t be back before Maccabi’s encounter at Hapoel Jerusalem on January 6.

The yellow-and-blue shouldn’t even notice Pnini’s absence when it hosts Maccabi Ashdod at Nokia Arena on Sunday.

Tel Aviv leads the league standings with an 8-1 record, while Ashdod is rock-bottom at 2-7.

Ashdod can, however, draw some encouragement from its play over the past couple of weeks, with Ofer Berkowitz’s team beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion in its most-recent BSL game before surprising Hapoel Tel Aviv in the last 16 of the State Cup.

Hapoel Eilat, which has only lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv over its last seven games, will hope to maintain its hold on second place when it hosts Bnei Herzliya on Sunday.

Also Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv will welcome Barak Netanya, which has lost four straight after opening the season 5-0, while Ironi Ashkelon, which has won four consecutive contests after beginning the campaign 0-5, visits Maccabi Haifa.

On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem goes to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil and Hapoel Holon hosts Rishon Lezion.
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