Serbia’s Borisa Simanic out for World Cup after losing kidney from blow on court

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South Sudan v Serbia: Group B - FIBA Basketball World Cup

South Sudan v Serbia: Group B – FIBA Basketball World Cup

Serbian power forward Borisa Simanic is out for the remainder of the World Cup after a blow from a South Sudan player on Sunday led to Simanic having one of his kidneys removed, according to reports out of Serbia.

The injury happened in the final couple of minutes of Serbia’s blowout win over South Sudan in the final game of the group play stage. The play itself didn’t look like much on the surface, Simanic had pinned South Sudan’s Nuni Omot under the basket, so Omot threw an elbow with his left arm to create space and get up a shot. (The rightsholder is taking down video of the injury, but it does exist.) That blow caught Simanic in the kidney, he instantly was in pain and left the game, and soon after was taken to the hospital. There the challenge was matching his blood type, Serbian coach Svetislav Pesic said the next day (via BasketNews).

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Already ruled out for the rest of the World Cup following the incident — the Serbian team had his jersey occupying a seat on the bench in its game against Italy — the news came a couple of days later that Simanic ultimately lost his kidney.

Omot was asked about the incident by BasketNews and the Sudanese player said it was incidental and he is not a dirty player.

“I heard that he ended up going to the hospital. My apologies, I didn’t mean to make no type of a dirty play. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I pray for you, you’ll be in my prayers,” he said.

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“I’m not a dirty player, I’ve never been a dirty player,” Omot continued. “From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize to everyone that’s watching and to the player especially.”

Simanic played for Zaragoza of the Spanish Liga ACB last season. The 6’11” power forward played for the Utah Jazz at the 2022 NBA Summer League.

Serbia advanced to the knockout round, where it will face Lithuania on Tuesday.

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