August 18, 2006

France’s Parker ruled out after freak injury

SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) - France have suffered a major blow
to their world basketball championship hopes after NBA All Star
Tony Parker was ruled out of the tournament on Friday with a
freak injury.

The San Antonio guard broke a finger on his right hand
after catching it on an opponent's jersey in France's final
tune-up game against Brazil on Tuesday.

Parker had been expected to miss the team's opener against
Olympic champions Argentina in Sendai on Saturday, but X-rays
revealed the injury was more serious than feared and he has
been ruled out of the tournament, which runs until September 3.

"Tony wanted to try and play with the injury but I didn't
feel it was worth taking the risk," French coach Claude
Bergeaud said.

"He will not be playing in the tournament and will return
to San Antonio to recover from the injury."

Parker was replaced on the French roster by Mamoutou

France were expected to be one of the challengers for a
gold medal with the United States, Argentina and Spain.

The French are in Group A alongside Argentina, Lebanon,
Nigeria, Venezuela and defending champions Serbia and