Results of an MRI are still pending, but the Brooklyn Nets appear to have dodged any long-term issues with the ankle injury sustained by rookie Dzanan Musa.
The initial reports from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Sunday were dreadful after Brooklyn Nets first-round pick Dzanan Musa went down in a heap late in his national team’s 85-80 loss to the Czech Republic in second-round qualifying play for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Those reports included fears that it was an Achilles injury for the 19-year-old wing prospect, who showed a lot of promise as well as some bad habits to be broken during the two games played with the Bosnian national team on Thursday in Espoo, Finland, and Sunday in his native Bosnia.
Musa is the second Net to be injured this offseason, joining combo forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who strained his left adductor while attempting a dunk while playing in Jeremy Lin‘s charity exhibition in China last month.
General manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that both players should be cleared for the start of training camp next week.
The Nets announced this week that the team’s annual Media Day will be Monday, with training camp opening Tuesday and continuing through Sept. 29 at the team’s HSS Training Center on 39th Street.
Marks told reporters, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post:
"“Dzanan is currently getting an MRI. It’s to be determined. It’s not as serious as was posted out there, thankfully. All is well there. (Musa and Hollis-Jefferson) will be cleared and integrated into training camp.”"
Musa, a 6-foot-9, 195-pound teenager known as “The Bosnian Scoring Machine,” played well in spurts in the losses to Finland and the Czechs, as he was asked to be the team’s primary ball-handler and facilitator.
Defensively, he showed signs of being an energetic, effective defender, particularly in the second half against the Czech Republic, when he fought his way over screens, disrupted passing lanes and played with great energy.
That was a sharp contrast from the first half, where he was content to lay back from screens, something a wing defender just cannot do in the NBA, where the shooters are just too deadly to be ignored.
The losses to Finland and the Czech Republic came even as the Bosnian national team had the services of Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic for the first time since he played in two games during the pre-qualifying round in 2017.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is last in their group at 2-6, two games behind 4-4 Russia for the final qualifying spot in the group. The Czechs punched their ticket to China for the World Cup with the win on Sunday and are 7-1 in group play.
France is also 7-1, but needs one more win to clinch, because of their shocking 74-68 loss on Thursday to Bulgaria in Botevgrad. Bulgaria split its two games in this session, losing Sunday in Moscow to Russia, 77-73, and is 3-5 in group play.
Musa is doubtful to return to the national team for the remainder of the second round, as the next two windows are during the NBA regular season, a time in which teams are not obligated to allow players to compete for their national squads.
The next window in the second round is Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 and qualifying concludes Feb. 21 and 24.