Jonas Jerebko has been the key player for Team Sweden in the FIBA EuroBasket qualifying round thus far, with an average line of 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.25 assists and 1.75 steals per game – so you can imagine his side may be entering tomorrow’s match with Bulgaria with some trepidation, as Jerebko’s status for the game is still unknown.
The Detroit Piston was injured in Tuesday’s win against Luxembourg; while the injury is not deemed serious (he certainly won’t miss any NBA games), it comes nevertheless at a seriously bad time for the Swedes. Currently at 2-2, Team Sweden is statistically tied with Azerbaijan and Bulgaria for second place in Group B with four games to play. The top two to three teams from the group will advance to the next round.
Official story from FIBA Europe follows.
(FIBA Europe) – Sweden won’t know until the day of their clash with Bulgaria on Thursday if Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko can shake off an ankle injury and play in the crunch game. Jerebko got hurt in the second half of Monday night’s home win against Luxembourg when he stepped on an opponent’s ankle.
The Swedish Federation has announced: “It’s gratifying that there is no serious injury, but it is too early to say if Jonas can play against Bulgaria in the EuroBasket qualifier on 30 August.
“We will take the decision on the day of the game,” said team manager Jonte Karlsson.
Jerebko, 25, is averaging 20 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Bulgaria won the first encounter between the sides on 15 August, 78-73.
Meanwhile, Stanislav Vaklinov, a 23-year-old power forward, has come into the Bulgaria squad as a replacement for center Nikolay Kolev, who has had problems with his vestibular system.
Sweden, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are all 2-2 in Group B behind Germany (4-0) and ahead of Luxembourg (0-4).
The top two sides in each of the six Qualification Round groups, and the four best third-place teams, progress to the Final Round.