Boomers coach Brian Goorjian is confident big man Aron Baynes will be fine despite suffering a knee injury in Australia’s impressive win over Team USA.
In a big boost for the Australians, Baynes isn’t expected to spend time on the sidelines after hurting his knee.
The Toronto Raptors star limped off the court in the first quarter with a right knee injury after banging knees with USA guard Bradley Beal.
He went straight to the locker room before finishing the game on the sideline with ice on his knee.
Thankfully, coach Goorjian is positive that Baynes’ injury isn’t serious in good news for Australia’s Tokyo Olympic campaign.
“We are feeling good about it,” Goorjian said.
“It is just a temporary situation, so we’ll be good.
Patty Mills helps Australia defeat the United States 91-83. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I think he banged knees, so it was a bruise situation and it just hit knees and it’s real sore, so at this stage I didn’t want to risk it.
“But it isn’t a twist or a turn or ligaments or that kind of thing.”
It remains to be seen whether Baynes plays in Australia’s exhibition game against Nigeria on Wednesday from 11.30am.
He could be rested to make sure his knee his 100 per cent fit for Australia’s Tokyo Olympic campaign.
The Boomers did an impressive job in Baynes’s absence, with big men Duop Reath, Nick Kay and Jock Landale all standing up.
Australia is the first country to beat USA Basketball in consecutive meetings since the Dream Team (USA with professional players) was formed in 1992.
USA Basketball’s record is now 194 wins and 13 losses since 1992 in exhibition and tournament play (93.7 per cent win record).
Boomers coach Brian Goorjian says Aron Baynes’s injury isn’t serious. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Boomers star Joe Ingles says the Australians’ rise to beating the Americans, and anyone on the international basketball stage, has been a journey 12 years in the making.
“I think the world has realised the quality of Australian basketballers,” Ingles said.
“Obviously, Bogut was the No.1 draft pick, Dante (Exum) the fifth pick and Patty and what he has done.
“We’ve built this thing and the confidence comes with that.
“In 2008 I think we had one NBA player on our roster in Andrew Bogut, there were a lot of guys playing in Europe and Australia.
“But over the course of that 12 years, you look at our roster now and we could easily add a couple of other NBA players if they were available.
“It has completely flipped now, and we’ve only got a couple of NBL and guys who play in Europe.”
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