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Canadians lose Murray

Jamal Murray will not be in action when Canada competes in the FIBA World Cup. | Photograph Courtesy Of Team Canada

MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canada’s Basketball World Cup hopes have suffered a major blow with guard Jamal Murray, who helped the Denver Nuggets win the National Basketball Association title in June, pulling out of the event, saying his body needs more time to recover.

Murray averaged 21.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 10.0 assists a game in the NBA Finals as the Nuggets beat Miami for the crown.

But the championship run drained Murray too much for him to compete with Canada at the World Cup, which begins next week in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for the World Cup,” Murray said.

“In consultation with medical staff and the team, it’s clear that additional recovery is required and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament.”

“It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”

Canada is set to compete in the group stage of the 32-team event starting 25 August against France. Other Group H matches will include facing Lebanon on 27 August and Latvia on 29 August, with all games at Jakarta, Indonesia.

“After numerous discussions over the last several weeks with Jamal and team medical staff, it became clear that additional recovery and rehab would prevent Jamal from joining our team,” Basketball Canada general manager Rowan Barrett said.

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