Spain’s national basketball team head coach Sergio Scariolo has confirmed that star player Pau Gasol will miss the forthcoming FIBA World Cup in China due to injury.
The 38-year-old, who has made over 200 appearances for his country, had an operation for an injury to his left foot last week, and Scariolo confirmed he will not recover for the tournament, which begins at the end of August.
“Pau is very important for us and he is going to be a tremendous loss, but those who care about him give him our support and we know he has made the right decision.”
“All I can do is hope he gets better quickly, because he doesn’t just want to be fit, he also wants to be able to compete,” added Scariolo.
Gasol led Spain to the 2006 World Cup, as well as taking silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Barcelona-born center was also a key part of the Spain side which won the 2009, 2011 and 2015 European Championships.
“His loss is a massive blow for us, because he is a historic player and even more so as a leader,” lamented Scariolo.