The Australian Olympic Team has announced that that Triple Olympian Aron Baynes has been ruled out for the remainder of the Boomers Olympic competition due to a neck injury.
Baynes sustained the injury during the game against Italy on Wednesday night at Saitama Super Arena which saw him monitored in a local hospital.
Baynes underwent a series of tests and is expected to recover in the coming weeks, but not in time to continue to play in this Olympic competition.
“I am really disappointed that I can’t continue in the Olympics,” said Baynes. “I along with the rest of the team have been working so hard in our quest for an historic Olympic medal and I am gutted that I can’t complete the journey with the boys’, but I have every confidence that they will get the job done”.
Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said Baynes will be missed but the Boomers have shown enormous team spirit in this campaign.
“It’s very sad for Aron but I have been really impressed with the way the Boomers as a group have shown leadership for the whole Australian Olympic Team. They will bounce back from this setback and we wish Aron all the best for a quick recovery.
Head Coach Brian Goorjian said that it was unfortunate but remained confident in the teams chances.
“Aron is a big part of our team and we are all hurting for him, but we have great depth in our squad and I have every confidence the 11 remaining players. We will all stay focused on the task ahead,” said Goorjian. “Unfortunately, injuries can happen but this team is resilient and we will adapt”.
Captain Patty Mills echoed the sentiments of Goorjian.
“It’s a tough loss for us. His presence on the floor and physical play has been a big part of our identity for so long and that will be missed, but it doesn’t change our focus and how we go about our business and what we have come to achieve,” said Mills.
“We have always spoken about how important each player’s role is, and the impact it can have for the better of our group because of our depth. That doesn’t change. We’ve got Baynsey’s back. We’ll cover for him.
“I have every confidence in this playing group and our focus will not waiver as we strive for that Olympic gold medal,” he added.
The Boomers next pool game is against Germany tomorrow, Saturday, July 31 at 5:20pm local time, 6:20pm AEST.