Denver Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic will not be playing for the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team during the Eurobasket Qualifying Rounds, according to reports from FibaEurope.com and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.com. The reason? (Get ready to close those eyes)
Nurkic had joined the senior national team's training camp immediately after leading the U20 side to the Division B title, and even played in last weekend's warm-up games in Sarajevo, delivering excellent performances.
But in interview with the Dnevni Avaz daily on the eve of his departure from training camp, the youngster had revealed that he was not feeling fit because he had picked up an injury during celebrations for the Division B title on 20 July, as one of his team-mates landed accidentally on his knee.
More on Nurkic being unable to play for his national squad:
The 20-year-old center, who will make the jump to the NBA with the Denver Nuggets in the new season, left the national team's training camp two days prior to the announcement to visit doctors in Croatia.
"I'm really sorry that I cannot help the team," the talented center said on Thursday.
"I am especially sorry that some people want to make a story out of me leaving training camp, it is really wrong to talk like that.
"I've always said that I would play for Bosnia and Herzegovina and it will be so in the future.
"[But now] my health does not allow me to do so."
We do not know the extent of the injury, but it's serious enough to keep him from playing for his NT, something we know is important to him, as he skipped playing in the NBA Summer League to help lead the B-Division team to Under-20 title. We will be keeping close tabs on the injury and if the Nuggets make an official announcement on it.
Hopefully it's just something that needs a little rest, Denver players could certainly use a little good news when it comes to an injury.
News and notes:
The team has also officially announced the signings of rookies Nurkic and Gary Harris. News of Harris deal broke before Summer League play and Mark Deeks put the Nurkic signing on Twitter back on July 24th. Denver's team salary now stands around $72.2 million for the coming season with Nurkic signed for $1.7 million, Harris at $1.5M, and Erick Green around $507K.