31 August, 2017
17 September
Aleksey Shved
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Unlucky Shved forced to pull out of Russian squad

MOSCOW (FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers) – Russian star guard Aleksey Shved has sustained a left ankle injury that is to keep him sidelined between six and eight weeks and will therefore be unable to help his national team in their FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers campaign that tips off 31 August, the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) announced on Tuesday.

"During [the weekend] international tournament in Ulm, Germany; the Russian team leader suffered an injury on his left foot," the RBF statement read. "He was submitted to tests in a clinic in Munich which confirmed the initial diagnosis and he was scheduled for surgery. The Russian Basketball Federation wishes Aleksey a speedy recovery and return to action."

The 27-year-old combo guard of Khimki Moscow Region had last suited up for Russia at FIBA EuroBasket 2013, where he led them in scoring with 16.4 points per contest, and was poised to make his return to the national team next week in the Qualifiers opener.

Shved's injury means that Russia head coach Sergey Bazarevich has to modify his plans for the perimeter line-up for the second time in just over a week, as sharp-shooter Vitaly Fridzon sustained a fracture in his elbow a few days previous and it is doubtful he will be able to take part in this summer’s campaign.

In the absence of Shved and Fridzon, Bazarevich might opt to start 24-year-old Dmitry Kulagin, who has put in very encouraging displays during warm-up games this summer, at the shooting guard position.

In addition to Kulagin, the Russian coach can also count on 29-year-old Evgeny Baburin who made his senior debut with Russia in last summer’s FIBA EuroBasket 2015, veteran Sergey Bykov as well as 25-year-old Maxim Kolyushkin, who has been in the national team mix for the past years but has not yet had the chance to play in an official game.

Dmitry Khvostov meanwhile is almost certain to start at the point guard position for Russia and play big minutes in the Qualifiers as his performances in friendly games throughout August have more than justified the trust that Bazarevich places in him.

Russia were drawn in Group C of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers together with Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina, whom they host in next week’s opener in Perm.