WARSAW (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Poland put up a spirited performance in their friendly against Spain in Castellon this week, only falling to the two-time defending champions of Europe by a narrow margin.
Now the squad has been heartened by the news that their most important player, Marcin Gortat, is to join Poland on Sunday in Belgium, where they are facing Israel, the hosts and Italy in a warm-up tournament for the EuroBasket in Slovenia.
The 2.11m pivot had been with Poland in July but travelled to the United States earlier this month so doctors could examine the metatarsal injury that he suffered in March while playing for the Phoenix Suns.
The Polish federation said: "Gortat will on Sunday, 18 August, fly to Belgium where on 17-19 August the Poles will play in a tournament with Israel, the hosts and Italy."
With Gortat and Lampe, who has returned to full fitness this past season and become one of the top big men in Spain's Liga Endesa, Poland should have one of the best front lines at the EuroBasket where they will compete in Group C against Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Georgia and Croatia.
The top six sides at the EuroBasket will qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
Should the Spaniards end up in the first six, then the top seven sides will progress to the World Cup.
"Marcin will be at the disposal of coach Dirk Bauermann (this weekend)," spokesman Michal Pacuda said, "but I do not know if he will play immediately in Sunday's game after a long journey.
"How many minutes he'll spend on the floor in Monday's meeting will depend on the coach.
"The first game at the EuroBasket will be played 4 September. The main thing for us is that Marcin will again be with the national team, he is healthy and in good shape. He will definitely will play in friendly games in Lublin on 22-25 August and at the EuroBasket."
Gortat became one of Poland's most famous sportsmen when he earned a spot on the roster of the Orlando Magic several years ago.
He was the face of EuroBasket 2009 when the country hosted the event, with his images on billboards and advertisements all over Poland.
Insurance issues related to the last NBA lockout prevented him from taking part in EuroBasket 2011, but he returned to the national squad last summer and led them in the Qualification Round with averages of 21.1 points and 11.6 rebounds.