Casspi floored 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An apprehensive Israel national team flew out to the Netherlands on Thursday
afternoon without star Omri Casspi after the Cleveland Cavaliers forward
suffered a knee injury in training on Wednesday, making him doubtful for the
Casspi slipped half-an-hour into Wednesday night’s
training session at Hadar Yosef Arena in Tel Aviv and an MRI revealed that he
has a slight tear in his left knee ligaments, which will require complete rest
for at least 10 days.
Israel, which will be playing its second warm-up
tournament ahead of the European Championships in Almere, Holland this weekend,
faces Dirk Nowitzki’s Germany in its EuroBasket Group B opener on August
“It’s still too early to say if I will be able to play in the
European Championships, but I’m skeptical,” said Casspi, who led the team in
points (16.9 ppg) and minutes (29.3 mpg) in last summer’s qualifying
“My knee is really painful and we’ll have to take it one day at
Coach Arik Shivek is determined to focus on his team’s upcoming
games against American college outfit Villanova on Friday, Georgia on Saturday
and the Netherlands on Sunday, but he too knows that the blue-and-white’s
mission in the championships in Lithuania will be all the more difficult without
its star player.
“Clearly we only have one Yotam Halperin, one Lior
Eliyahu and one Casspi, but we will do our best to prepare for the tournament
without him,” Shivek said on Thursday.
“We would be delighted to have
Casspi in the championships, but if we don’t we will still play in
Obviously, this is a different team without Casspi.
Omri is still in pain in two weeks time he will not play. I hope Casspi will do
all he can to get back with the roster as soon as possible.”
missed last weekend’s warm-up tournament in Cyprus with a stomach virus, but
Shivek has at least got Yotam Halperin, Tal Burstein and David Blu back in the
roster and he is hoping to see a significant improvement in his side’s
“We have had some good training sessions in recent days and
I hope that shows in the games,” Shivek said. “We haven’t got long before the
EuroBasket and we need to make sure we keep improving and peak at the