REPORT: Jayson Tatum (ankle) has a ‘strong chance’ to return for Team USA vs. France
Jayson Tatum, who has missed the last three games for Team USA, has a ‘strong chance’ to return back to action on Wednesday against France.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Tatum will be a game-time decision on Wednesday in the Americans’ quarterfinal duel with the French.
Good news for the Celtics and USA Basketball, per NBA Insider @ShamsCharania:
Jayson Tatum has a strong chance to make his return for Team USA in quarterfinals against France on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/1qx48uoeGi
— Stadium (@Stadium) September 9, 2019
To recall, the Boston Celtics swingman sprained his ankle in Team USA’s overtime win over Turkey last week. The injury occurred in a fastbreak opportunity where Tatum, after getting the rebound, went coast-to-coast and found Khris Middleton who got fouled on a layup attempt. In the play, the 21-year-old Tatum rolled his left ankle and fell to the floor. Middleton, meanwhile, went on to drain the two free throws which secured Team USA’s 93-92 win.
While Tatum’s injury was never deemed serious, it still caused some concern for Celtics fans, who have big expectations from the young gun in the upcoming 2019-20 NBA campaign.
Tatum’s presence is very much needed against a stacked French squad. Among its players are current and former NBA players such as Vincent Poirier, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina, Nando de Colo and Axel Toupane.
While the Americans are still undefeated, their struggles — especially on the offensive end — have been noticeable. As such, Tatum’s averages of 10.5 points, 7.5 boards and 2.5 assists in the tournament will certain give the Gregg Popovich-led national team a lift.