Anthony Davis injures ankle
New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, taken No. 1 in last week's NBA draft, could be forced to withdraw from Team USA consideration after suffering a sprained left ankle in a Hornets workout Sunday.
ESPN.com reported last week that Davis was scheduled to travel to Las Vegas for an Independence Day workout in front of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski along with Los Angeles Clippers teammates Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom, auditioning for spots on this summer's Olympic team one day before the official start of training camp. The rest of Team USA's training camp invitees are due to arrive Friday.
Big And Brittle
The last three No. 1 overall NBA draft picks who were 6-foot-9 or taller suffered an injury before they made their debut. Luckily for the Hornets, Anthony Davis' injury isn't a season-ending one.
|Anthony Davis (2012)||Sprained ankle||?*|
|Blake Griffin (2009)||Broken kneecap||Season|
|Greg Oden (2007)||Microfracture surgery||Season|
|* = Likely to miss 2012 Olympics|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
But sources said Monday that Davis is expected to be sidelined "up to two weeks" because of the ankle sprain. Davis, Griffin and Odom were all under consideration to fill a roster spot to address a growing void in the Team USA frontcourt created by injuries to Orlando's Dwight Howard, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge and Miami's Chris Bosh.
The Hornets, who confirmed Davis' injury in a statement released Monday, consider him day to day, but the chances of him being healthy enough by the end of the week appear remote.
Krzyzewski told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that a decision on Davis' status for the Games hasn't been made yet.
"There's no definitive word yet on that," Krzyzewski said as he packed to leave for the next six weeks. "We're still planning on him coming out to Vegas and see what his condition is going forward. We haven't talked to any doctors or anything like that."
Krzyzewski reiterated that the first two days of training camp before the announcement of the 12-man roster on July 7 that will head to London isn't a tryout. He hinted that a player who is hurt can still be on the team.
"If they're a part of the 18, there's no such thing as a tryout anymore," Krzyzewski said. "You become part of a pool and then there is a competition, and then there are contract situations, family situations, then we get to the 12 of the pool. It's not like the guy gets cut. Once you're in the pool, you're in the pool.''
Krzyzewski said that dealing with attrition isn't new since during the basketball worlds "we lost four guys the first day, whether that was contracts or health. That's why you have to wait until July 7 and see where everyone is at contractually, health and family in every way and then get going.''
Krzyzewski didn't rule out a player being bumped up from the U.S. Select team due to all the injuries, but it's still unlikely.
"Probably not," Krzyzewski said. "But the Select team is how Derrick Rose, (Kevin) Durant, and (Russell) Westbrook all got involved. Once you make that commitment, you're added to the pool. One reason to have a select team is not just for practice but to introduce them to USA Basketball. Obviously get a chance to take a look at them and they get to know what USA Basketball is about. Whether they're a part of the group of competition or not, it's not foreign to them, no pun intended."
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo reitereated Krzyzewski's stance, saying Monday he has no plans to make any additions to the roster, despite another wave of injuries.
"At this moment we do not have any plans to add anyone," he said. "We may very well be seeking permission to add someone else."
"In Davis' case," Colangelo added, "maybe he's not capable of going early, but maybe he would be (later)."
While Griffin is still vying for a roster spot, his new Clippers teammate will likely skip Team USA's training which starts this week, as well as the upcoming Olympics.
"It might be best for me stay here (in Los Angeles) and work with the trainers and get back to playing at a high level," Odom said Monday. "It might be better to stick around here for a little bit and become familiar with my surroundings. "
New York's Tyson Chandler and Minnesota's Kevin Love are the only healthy recognized big men assured of inclusion in the final 12. So it remains to be seen whether a big man from Team USA's select squad of younger pros that will scrimmage against the senior team -- players such as Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and Utah's Derrick Favors -- will now be considered for the Olympic squad because of the size shortage.
USA Basketball officials, however, are confident they will be covered no matter what against most opponents Team USA will face this summer, because New York's Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City's Durant and Miami's LeBron James can play power forward in the international game.
Guards Dwyane Wade, Rose and Chauncey Billups are the other members of the original 20-man preliminary roster released in January that were forced to turn down their Team USA invitations due to injury.
Colangelo said the Americans may eventually seek permission, though there's no guarantee it would be granted. The Americans already were granted one extension by the U.S. Olympic Committee to add Davis and James Harden to their pool of finalists after the deadline for players to be entered in the drug testing pool.
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz, ESPN The Magazine senior NBA writer Ric Bucher, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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