Set Back For France, Turiaf Out With Broken Hand

The pre-Olympic qualifiers are on the horizon and teams are gearing up in the hopes of making it to the 2012 London games and getting that gold medal.

But if the French national team wants to make it to the Olympics, then it looks like they will have to make it without the services of Ronny Turiaf.  Turiaf will miss the remainder of the Olympic Test Event and is doubtful for the pre-Olympic qualifier in Lithuania (Eurobasket 2011) after suffering a broken left hand in a win over Great Britain.

“The hypothetical withdrawal of Ronny Turiaf, a player who is as important on the court as he is off it, could be a real blow to France,” France head coach Vincent Collet said.

Indeed this is a huge blow to France. France comes into EuroBasket 2011 as one of the favorites, and rightfully so. The team’s roster is full of NBA players – Nicolas Batum, Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, Boris Diaw, Kevin Seraphin and Rony Turiaf. And as much as that roster is impressive, it does have one major weakness – size.  After Noah, there is a considerable drop off in big men. Turiaf and Seraphin come in at 6’9″ so the loss of Turiaf does put a serious chink in their armor.

In addition, the road to London will probably mean matchups against bigger teams in Lithuania such as Spain with Pau Gasol, and Marc Gasol who have already defeated France in exhibition play and not to mention Germany with Dirk Nowitzki.

With Turiaf out indefinitely, one payer France might look to is Mavericks’ Ian Mahinmi who does have the size to at least help Noah in the paint.