Andres Nocioni was expected to be a cornerstone for Argentina, one of the world basketball powers, at the World Championships in Turkey.
But he sprained his ankle on July 31, and after an MRI this week it has been decided he will sit out the tournament to rest it more, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. Sixers president Rod Thorn announced the decision.
“[Sixers Medical Director] Dr. [Jack] McPhilemy didn’t like what he saw [on the MRI], and felt Andres should not play or put a lot of impact on the ankle,” Thorn said. “Andres wants to play and feels very close to his country, but, in this case, it’s just not prudent for him to play.”
Nocioni played last season in Sacramento but was traded to the Sixers this summer as part of the deal that sent Samuel Dalembert west.
Argentina is one of the better teams in the world, considered on the second tier of contenders behind the USA and Spain. However, both with both Manu Ginobili and Nocioni sitting out, the team will not be quite the same. Look for NBAers Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino to lead them.
Argentina opens play Saturday against Germany in the FIBA World Championships in Istanbul.