Anthony Davis suffered a severe ankle sprain in one of his first officials workouts with the New Orleans Hornets, leaving the top pick in Thursday’s draft likely out of contention for Team USA.
Though Davis will be evaluated later in the week, he is “almost assuredly” unable to compete in the London 2012 Games, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter. He hurt the ankle at the team’s training center in Westwego on Saturday and the team has listed for returning to training as day-to-day.
Even without the injury, it was not assured that Davis would earn an Olympic spot, CBS reported. He can still be added as an alternate by reporting to the pre-Olympic training camp, leaving him as a back-up if another frontcourt player is hurt or unable to play in London.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said he would like Davis to report to training camp this week.
“We’re trying to get a read on his status and then we do want him in Vegas to stay on top of it,” Colangelo was quoted in the CBS report.
The Hornets had been supportive of the Olympic bid since selecting Anthony Davis first in Thursday’s NBA draft. He will be a key part of New Orleans’ rebuilding effort, and the team’s brass saw the Olympics as a chance to kick-start his development.
Team USA itself has been snakebitten in the build-up to the Olympic games, earning it the nickname “Team Nightmare” from Sports Illustrated in contrast to the Dream Team of 1992. The group lost a number of likely players due to injury, including Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and the Miami Heat power duo of guard Dwyane Wade and power forward Chris Bosh.
Though Anthony Davis was considered a candidate for the team’s 12th and final spot, he had high hopes of competing and helping fill the void left by the injury to Howard and Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who will also miss the games.