Tibor Pleiss (GER)
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Germany roster nearing final shape for EuroBasket 2015

HAGEN (EuroBasket 2015) - EuroBasket 2015 Group B hosts Germany had commenced preparations with one of the longer preliminary rosters among the 24 participants in the tournament, but now their squad has been reduced to 15 players.

On Wednesday, the German Basketball Federation (DBB) announced that both Daniel Theis and Elias Harris were abandoning training camp and consequently would not play at EuroBasket 2015.

Theis had undergone shoulder surgery immediately after the end of the German Beko BBL season and the doctors have determined that he has not yet made full recovery, the DBB stated.

"We had hoped that Daniel would be with us because the signs were positive," said Germany head coach Chris Fleming.

"But ultimately the player's health is the main concern, we do not bury our heads in the sand, we continue to work without losing focus and motivation."

Harris meanwhile has had a finger operation in the off-season and is consequently not capable to fight for a place on the final German EuroBasket roster.

Earlier in the summer, Germany had learned that power forward Maximilian Kleber and point guard Per Gunther were also not going to be available for selection this summer, because of injury.

Coach Fleming, who had announced initially a 23-preliminary roster, is counting on 14 players for Germany's next two friendly games as Dirk Nowitzki is enjoying his last days of holiday and is scheduled to join the team during their mini camp in Mallorca, from 8 to 13 August.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder and big man Tibor Pleiss, who signed with the Utah Jazz this summer, were the latest players to be incorporated into training camp, during this week.

Both Schroder and Pleiss are poised to step out either in Friday's warm-up game against the Czech Republic in Wetzlar, or in the Saturday scrimmage behind closed doors, again with the Czechs.

Germany were in impressive form in their first three friendlies this summer, as they defeated Austria, Netherlands and hosts Italy to win the Trentino Cup last summer.

One of the players who stood out in Trento and is so far vindicating those who had predicted he is bound to be included in Germany's EuroBasket roster for the first time in his career is 23-year-old Johannes Voigtmann.

"I did six weeks of athletic training and four weeks of training with the ball before I joined the national team camp," the young center of FIBA Europe Cup participants Fraport Skyliners told EuroBasket2015.org/de.

"After my injury [in the BBL play-offs] I wanted as quickly as possible to get back to my old level, and even strengthen a little.

"We are all here to give the best we can and also to earn a place on the EuroBasket roster.

"I will give everything for that aim and then we will see what comes out.

"It would be great if many fans from Frankfurt could get to Wetzlar, which is only a short distance.

"Dennis Schroder will be with us for the first time and the Czechs are a potential surprise team this summer, so there is lot of interesting things to see," the big man concluded.

Germany will face Iceland in their EuroBasket 2015 opener in Berlin and will then take on Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Spain.

Germany preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2015: Robin Benzing, Bastian Doreth, Niels Giffey, Alex King, Konstantin Klein, Maodo Lo, Dirk Nowitzki, Tibor Pleiss, Heiko Schaffartzik, Dennis Schroder, Karsten Tadda, Akeem Vargas, Johannes Voigtmann, Maik Zirbes, Paul Zipser.

Go to eurobasket2015.org for complete coverage of EuroBasket 2015.