|22 August 2011|
|Within the space of three days France have had to deal with the loss of two players, as after Ronny Turiaf now Antoine Diot is also sidelined |
Antoine Diot was one of France's brightest young stars at the EuroBasket in Poland two years ago when they lost just once but for the second straight summer since, he'll have to miss a big tournament because of back problems.
After being sidelined from last year's FIBA World Championship in Turkey with a herniated disc, Diot struggled to recover full fitness in 2010-11 but coach Vincent Collet included him in the EuroBasket squad in the hope he'd be ready when the tournament tips off on August 31.
Collet, who had liked the chemistry Diot enjoyed with starting playmaker Tony Parker in Poland, had to release the 22-year-old from duty on Sunday because of recurring lumbar pain.
The departure of Diot means that France have now lost two players late in their preparations.
Veteran center Ronny Turiaf was let go after he fractured the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand six days ago.
Diot's exit means that 21-year-old Andrew Albicy will play substantial minutes for the second year in a row as he filled in for both Parker and Diot last year in Turkey.
France are now weighing their options with the EuroBasket set to get underway in nine days.
Fabien Causeur, a member of last year's squad, and Abdoulaye M'Baye are possible replacements for Diot.
France will compete against Serbia, Israel, Latvia, Germany and Italy in Group B at the EuroBasket.
Les Bleus beat Serbia on Sunday at the London Invitational Tournament.