The hits keep on coming for the Canadian men’s basketball team, as backup small forward Oshae Brissett has been ruled out for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Brissett was a full participant in training camp and had featured as a consistent contributor throughout the exhibition tour in Canada and Australia. However, his knee started swelling up which forced him to miss the finale against the United States on Monday. Canada’s head coach Nick Nurse mentioned after the game that Brissett was a question mark and he officially ruled him out on Thursday.
“We’re getting close to a final decision (on the roster). Obviously, Oshae Brissett is gone, his injury is going to prevent him from playing,” Nurse told DAZN Canada.
Brissett’s absence leaves Canada painfully short in the frontcourt, as he was one of Canada’s best rebounders and defenders in the preseason slate. Melvin Ejim is the only other traditional small forward left on the roster, while two flawed options in Thomas Scrubb and Kyle Wiltjer will be left to split minutes at power forward.
The good news is that Cory Joseph has indeed rejoined the national team after skipping out on the Australian tour. There were conflicting reports that brought Joseph’s commitment into question, but it looks as if the longtime stalwart will be one of two NBA players — along with Montreal’s Khem Birch — to help Canada battle for a shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the upcoming World Cup.
However, with only two days left before their opening match in the group stage, Nurse notes that the final 12-man roster is still undetermined. Presumably, that would hint at Canada nabbing another forward, and 6-foot-9 shooter Conor Morgan could be a potential replacement for Brissett.
Canada takes on Australia at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, and will also clash with Lithuania and Senegal in the group stage.
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