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The Australian Boomers play their final group stage match of the Olympics against Germany. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 6:20pm (AEST).
The Boomers’ medal hopes just took a big blow.
Ahead of their third and final Group B match against Germany on Saturday, the news that Aron Baynes has been ruled out for the rest of the Olympic tournament with a shock neck injury is seen as a major setback for the Australians who are chasing their first-ever podium finish.
AOC Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Hughes told media that Baynes suffered an injury on court against Italy but then took a blunt fall in the bathroom which caused further damage. Baynes was taken to hospital for further testing.
“It became apparent to the medical staff that this was a bit more serious than just an average injury,” Dr. Hughes said.
The left field injury leaves Australia missing a substantial piece of their core four which includes Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova. This latest setback hasn’t completely sunk their hopes, but the Boomers do need everything to fall their way from here on in as they continue to chase a first-ever podium finish.
Germany will head into Saturday’s match against Australia with a 1-1 record and perhaps, with Baynes out, there is a whiff of an upset brewing. The Germans beat Nigeria 99 to 92 and pushed Italy in their Olympic opener. Even though most pundits predict a win for the Boomers on Saturday, this latest obstacle gives the game an air of uncertainty.
To cover the loss of Baynes, Australia’s head coach Brian Goorjian will need to get creative with his roster. Duop Reath is the only recognized tall remaining on their roster, but Nick Kay Jock Landale might be used in a three-way timeshare approach.
The ill-timed injury comes right on the eve of the knockout stages, but also it was just as Baynes was heating up. He was coming off a 14-point game that included seven rebounds, two three-points and was starting to look settled.
“I am gutted that I can’t complete the journey with the boys,” Baynes told the media. “But I have every confidence that they will get the job done.”
Tip off: 6:20pm (AEST)
Venue: Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo
TV: Channel Seven
Patty Mills (c),
Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Nic Kay, Jock Landale, Joe Ingles, Duop Reath, Nathan Sobey, Matisse Thybulle
Isaac Bonga, Joshiko Saibou, Maodo Lo, Niels Giffey, Jan Niklas Wimberg, Johannes Voightmann, Robin Benzing, Moritz Wagner, Lukas Wank, Danilo Barthel, Johannes Thiemann, Andreas Obst