Probably one of the biggest concerns for Team USA heading into training camp and preparing for the long road to London was the ongoing injury woes that plagued the team coming off of a shortened and grueling NBA season.
They re-tooled, re-charged and are now re-focused as the team to beat at the 2012 Olympics, which tips-off in six days.
The injury concerns, however, appears that it has shifted to Spain who are missing one of their big men in Marc Gasol.
And while Spain still presents one of the biggest threats to Team USA and will be a tough match-up for the likes of France and Argentina, Spain’s power could be diminished unless Gasol returns from being on the mend soon.
Gasol has been banged up since suffering a shoulder injury in early July and there has yet to be a final word from Team Spain about his status heading into London.
All that is known is Gasol has undergone a series of tests and has not been cleared to play.
Spain will host Team USA on Tuesday in Barcelona at the Palau Sant Jordi.
Marc Gasol’s absence takes nothing away from brother Pau Gasol or Serge Ibaka, who finished second this past season as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year behind the New York Knicks and Team USA’s, Tyson Chandler. Team USA may not have the size advantage that Spain does with Pau Gasol and Ibaka, but at least head coach Mike Krzyzewski can make adjust, especially if he has only worry about those two guys and not Marc Gasol.
Team USA disposed of Argentina, 86-80, thanks to 27 points by Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant’s 18 points, and Spain will have their handful on Tuesday as they’ll be without Sergio Rodriguez and -- of course -- Marc Gasol.
He is no stranger to the injured list either after suffering a bone bruise to his left knee and battling a sore ankle this past season in Memphis.
Now with the shoulder injury, this is not an absence Spain can do much about. It's a whole lot of playing "wait and see".
At this point, it's a given that Gasol is sadly enough in jeopardy of missing out on London.