ARG - Talented, veteran-laden side loses Manu

Manu Ginobili (ARG). Argentina vs USA. 1/2 Finals of the London 2012 Olympics (men), UK. 10 August 2012.

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Manu Ginobili has given his native Argentina plenty of memories to cherish, both with the national team and the San Antonio Spurs.

He was hoping to have one final glorious run for his country at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain but the sporting gods have decided otherwise, with the veteran guard unable to recover from a stress fracture in time to play at the 24-team event.

With Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni, Facundo Campazzo, Andres Nocioni, Walter Herrmann and numerous other talents, Argentina are still going to have a potent team when they run onto the court to play in Group B, in Sevilla, against Greece, Puerto Rico, Senegal, the Philippines and Croatia.

They are going to miss Ginobili, though, a member of the national team that came in second place at the 2002 FIBA World Championship and two years later led Argentina to Athens Olympics gold.

The four-time NBA champion wrote in his column for Argentinian newspaper La Nacion about his failed bid to recover in time.

"I did a lot of treatment and a lot of stretching, and it seemed to be a little better," he said, "but when on Wednesday I forced myself to run more and shoot in the gym, at the end of the training session the pain reappeared in the same place of the original fibula fracture.

"That basically gave the final blow to the expectations I had…"

Ginobili promised to support his Argentina teammates.

"I very much regret the bad news," he said. "I'll be with the team as long as possible, trying to add from the outside and supporting at all times."

Argentina, who are coached by Julio Lamas, lost Ginobili to injury in their 2008 Olympic Semi-Final against the USA but dug deep and won the Bronze Medal Game against Lithuania.

The national side will arrive in Spain with the No. 3 spot in the FIBA bwin Ranking Men.