Luka Doncic, the Slovenian basketball sensation, had his sights set on leading his team to victory in the FIBA World Cup, but a sudden injury cast a shadow over his plans.
The charismatic captain traveled to Japan with his team, ready to take on formidable opponents like Spain and Team USA.
However, fate had other plans, as an untimely injury sidelined him during the crucial build-up matches.
Amid high anticipation, Doncic’s journey took an unexpected turn during a match against Spain. In the second quarter, an awkward landing on a drive led to an injury, forcing him out of the game.
— Ball Hooper (@KraniasMelissa) August 12, 2023
Despite his valiant effort of scoring 17 points before departing, Slovenia struggled to fill the void left by their star player.
The situation didn’t fare any better in the exhibition game against Team USA, which Slovenia lost 92-62.
Doncic’s injury, a quad issue, resurfaced, reminding him and fans alike of a similar setback he faced after the NBA All-Star break last season.
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In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Doncic addressed concerns, stating that the injury is an old one and that an MRI confirmed nothing serious.
He assured fans that there is no cause for alarm and that he’s on the road to recovery.
“It’s a previous injury that troubled me back in March during the NBA season,” Doncic explained to Sports Illustrated. “Consequently, we conducted an MRI, and thankfully, everything is fine. No further complications.”
Leading the Slovenian team as captain for the first time, Doncic shared insights into the encouraging aspects of the past two matches.
However, he acknowledged the necessity for his team to enhance their performance in preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, scheduled to commence on August 25th.”
“We’ve witnessed numerous positive aspects in the last couple of games,” Doncic shared. “Yet, it’s evident that there’s still substantial work ahead of us. With focused execution and adherence to our strategies, we hold the potential to become a formidable force on the court.”
He emphasized the importance of abiding by the game plan, mentioning the progress observed in certain areas. Doncic stressed the need for consistent application throughout the entire 40 minutes of play.
Slovenia’s journey in the world cup will commence on August 26, facing Venezuela in their opening match. The team aims to build upon their impressive fourth-place achievement in the Tokyo Olympics. However, a fit and healthy Luka Doncic remains an essential factor in realizing these aspirations.