Jayson Tatum has been diagnosed with a moderately sprained left ankle and will miss at least the next two games of FIBA World Cup action before being re-evaluated on Monday on his potential availability for the rest of the tournament.
The 21-year-old suffered the injury in the closing moments of Tuesday's overtime win over Turkey for Team USA. Brad Stevens spoke with the forward after the injury in China.
“The early indication is a moderate ankle sprain. They’re going to be obviously cautious about it,” Stevens said at an ABCD fundraiser at the Auerbach Center on Tuesday night.
“I was pushing it up the court and seen Khris (Middleton). I think I was slipping a little bit, and I rolled my ankle,” Tatum added when asked about the injury by reporters in China. “I think I just slipped and fell the wrong way."
Team USA has already clinched a spot in the second round of the FIBA World Cup by beating Turkey on Thursday so they will face off with Japan in their final Group E game in what will be a meaningless game for their own bracket. They will kick off play pool play in the second round of the tournament on Saturday by facing off with either Greece or New Zealand on Saturday. Tatum will reportedly be re-evaluated before the team's next matchup on Monday against Brazil in the second round. USA will play two games in pool play in the second round, needing to finish in the top two of their group to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
BSJ Analysis: Tatum has played a vital role so far for Team USA, averaging 10.5 points in 24.5 minutes per