This is some recovery.
Ten days after Spain ruled Juancho Hernangómez out of the Olympics because of a dislocated shoulder suffered in an exhibition game against France, it reversed course and named him to the squad for Tokyo after all.
The Spaniards are +900 to win the gold medal at BetMGM, the third-best odds of the 12 teams competing.
Hernangómez, who starts at small forward for Spain and plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, suffered what Spain termed a “grade 4-5 acromioclavicular dislocation in his left shoulder” on July 8. The grades for dislocated shoulders are progressively serious, with 1 being a mild sprain and 6 representing all manner of rupture and detachment in one’s upper body.
So what happened? According to the official release, further evaluation of the injury by staff with the Spanish federation, the national team’s official hospital and the Timberwolves determined the 25-year-old Hernangómez could travel to the Olympics after all. Specifically, Spain termed it “la posterior evolución de la dolencia,” which roughly translates to “the subsequent evolution of the injury.”
Recovery time for dislocated shoulders varies by case, and we only know what Spain tells us about the injury. But the Mayo Clinic warns that “resuming activity too soon after shoulder dislocation may cause you to injure your shoulder joint or to dislocate it again.”
So let’s look at Spain’s timeline. It’s already been 11 days since the injury, and Spain’s Group C schedule will last from July 26-August 1, which means Hernangómez will have had 24 days’ recovery time if he doesn’t play in the group stage. Group C includes Luka Doncic’s Slovenia, host nation Japan and a middling edition of Argentina, and the top two teams automatically qualify for the knockout stage, while two of the three third-place teams advance as well.
Can the Spanish risk missing Hernangómez for those games? It seems like a prudent gambit to get him three and a half weeks’ worth of rest. Spain is ranked No. 2 in the world by FIBA and has medaled in each of the three previous Olympics, though never won gold. Spain starts Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio and other NBA veterans, so it’s not exactly hurting for talent at this level.
How much Hernangómez is hurting will be revealed over the course of the Games. It’s already a victory he’s going in the first place.
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