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Russian basketball star Mozgov unable to join national squad for 2019 FIBA World Cup

Mozgov said in an interview with TASS last week he was hoping to join the national team for the world championship in China, but was undergoing a medical treatment on a knee injury

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. Russian basketball team’s center Timofey Mozgov will not be able to join the national squad to play at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, the press office of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) announced on Tuesday.

The Russian national men’s basketball team arrived on July 22 at the training camp in Novogorsk, outside Moscow, for 2019 FIBA World Cup and Mozgov was on the national squad’s roster.

"Unfortunately, Timofey Mozgov will not be able to help the national team this year," the RBF said in a statement.

Mozgov is one of the first Russian basketball players to win the much-coveted NBA Champion’s ring, which he snatched playing for Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015. His compatriot and teammate at that time, Sasha Kaun, was the other Russian national to enjoy the privilege of winning the US-based basketball league’s ring of the champion, although he spent less time on the court compared to Mozgov.

Russia’s powerful basketball center Mozgov, who is two meters and 16 centimeters tall (7 feet and 1 inch) and weighs 125 kg (275 pounds), said in an interview with TASS last week he was hoping to join the national team for the world championship in China, but he was undergoing a medical treatment on a knee injury.

Andrei Kirilenko, the president of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF), told TASS on Tuesday that Mozgov had a chance of joining the team for the championship only if he recovered from the injury and gained the required physical shape.

"Our team needs Mozgov, he would be of great help at the World Cup, but only in case if he is healthy and physically fit," Kirilenko said. "He [Mozgov] needs to complete his recovery and gain the required shape."

The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup for men’s teams is scheduled to be hosted by China between August 31 and September 15. Following the Draw on March 16, the Russian national team was placed in Group B alongside the teams from Nigeria, Argentina and South Korea.