LYON (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Brazil have received a setback in their preparations for the FIBA World Championship with the national side losing Denver Nuggets big man Nenê Hilário to injury.
Coach Ruben Magnano has called Le Mans center João Paulo Batista, a member of last year’s gold-medal winning side at the FIBA Americas Championship in Puerto Rico, into the squad as a replacement.
Nenê, who was forced off the court in the 2007-08 NBA campaign with testicular cancer but had an inspirational comeback to remain a major part of the Denver line-up, had been suffering from inflammation in both legs during Brazil’s preparations.
He trained with the team for seven days and appeared to fine physically, and played in Friday’s 58-56 friendly defeat to France in Lyon.
However, he broke down after just 12 minutes.
Brazil team doctor Dr Carlos Vicente Andreoli said: “During the game, Nenê felt pain in his right leg and was removed from the game.
“Clinically, he has a muscle strain in the soleus muscle, which requires him to stay still for five to 10 days. Given the time needed for recovery, we decided to remove him from the World (team).”
Brazil, who are coached by Argentina’s 2004 Olympic gold-medal winning coach Ruben Magnano, will play in Group B at the FIBA World Championship against the United States, Slovenia, Croatia, Iran and Tunisia.
France beat Brazil 58-56 in Friday’s behind-closed-doors friendly.
Brazil played without power forward/center Anderson Varejao, who suffered a sprained right ankle in the match against Spain on March 17, and point guard Marcelo Huertas.
Huertas has patellar tendinopathy, which is better known as “jumper’s knee”.