The Australian Boomers gold medal hopes have taken a blow with three-time Olympian Aron Baynes ruled out for the rest of the Tokyo Olympics.
The NBA championship-winning centre took an awkward fall in the win over Italy and subsequent tests have revealed a neck injury which will keep him out of the remainder of the Games.
Aron Baynes’ Olympics could be over already.Credit:AP
His loss will hurt against other contending sides such as Spain who have NBA star Marc Gasol as their starting big man.
Jock Landale, Nick Kay and Duop Reath will all have to step into bigger roles to cover for Baynes.
“I am really disappointed that I can’t continue in the Olympics,” Baynes said.
“I along with the rest of the team have been working so hard in our quest for a historic Olympic medal and I am gutted that I can’t complete the journey with the boys, but I have every confidence that they will get the job done”.
Boomers captain Patty Mills said his side would find a way to keep on course.
“It’s a tough loss for us,” Mills said.
“His presence on the floor and physical play has been a big part of our identity for so long and that will be missed, but it doesn’t change our focus and how we go about our business and what we have come to achieve.
“We have always spoken about how important each player’s role is, and the impact it can have for the better of our group because of our depth. That doesn’t change. We’ve got Baynsey’s back. We’ll cover for him.
“I have every confidence in this playing group and our focus will not waiver as we strive for that Olympic gold medal.”
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