The Spanish basketball team could be dealt a huge blow ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month, with a report suggesting that center Marc Gasol will not be able to play.
According to ESPN, Gasol is unfit to participate at the Olympics as he is still recovering from the broken right foot he sustained while playing with the Memphis Grizzlies in February.
Gasol had been included in Spain’s preliminary squad, but he is reportedly not going to part of the squad chosen to play at the Olympics as he is not yet fully fit.
The Grizzlies ace was set to be a key figure for Spain as the 31-year-old averaged 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in the 52 games he played in the 2015/16 NBA season.
Not having Gasol on their roster will be a blow to Spain’s chances of preventing Team USA from retaining their title. Spain have been Team USA’s main competition in the men’s basketball event for the past two Olympics, with the two countries facing off in the final on both occassions.
Team USA will be without a number of high-profile players, including Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.