MINSK (EuroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - There is never a good time for a player to go down with an injury, so the torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered by Nantes Reze sharpshooter Tatyana Troina in training recently was a tough pill to swallow for everyone concerned.
Troina, a Belarus international who has played at EuroBaskets, the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women, was a leader for Nantes Reze both on and off the court.
"I lost more than a player," said Nantes Reze coach Emmanuel Coeuret of his 31-year-old forward.
"I lost a remarkable leader in a human sense."
Injuries happen, though, and Troina knows that as well as anyone.
She has been sidelined in her career before.
If there is a silver lining to the torn ACL, it's that Troina may have enough time to recover in time to play for Belarus next summer at the EuroBasket Women, when the national team attempts to qualify for the FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.
Troina, because of her talent, experience and competitiveness, is as important as any player in the Belarus team.
For a side that finished top of its Qualification Round group for next year's EuroBasket in France, Troina averaged 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Along with Anastasiya Verameyenka, Nataliya Trafimava and point guard Aliaksandra Tarasava, Troina is indispensible.
If that foursome are in the line-up, and Yelena Leuchanka comes back to the national side after taking a year off, Belarus, who are coached by Rimantas Grigas, will be among the favorites to claim a place at the FIBA World Championship.
They will take on Lithuania, Croatia and the Czech Republic next year in the EuroBasket Women Final Round, Group D.