Duke basketball star injured in Team USA exhibitions

Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum was injured during Team USA workouts. 

The United States of America men’s basketball team has been in the news more often than the team would have liked, and now it will be without a former Duke basketball wing for a period of time.

After dropping its first two exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the team would not have Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum for its exhibition game against Argentina due to a right knee injury.

Charania said that Tatum is listed as day-to-day, but there is no timetable for his return.

Tatum was one of the few Americans that played well in the first scrimmage against Nigeria, totaling 15 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and making all five of his free throw attempts.

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However, against Australia, the former Blue Devil struggled with just eight points, three rebounds, and four assists on 4-of-12 shooting. And Tatum missed all six of his 3-point attempts.

Team USA responded to defeat Argentina in its third exhibition game in preparation for the Olympic Games.

In his fourth season with the Celtics, Tatum was named as an All-Star for the second consecutive season while averaging a career-best 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game on 45.9-percent shooting from the field.

Team USA will need services of former Duke basketball star

Since Jayson Tatum was sidelined with his injury, Team USA has been dealt two blows as Bradley Beal and Jerami Grant have been ruled out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Americans are also awaiting the arrivals of Jrue Holliday, Kris Middleton, and Devin Booker, who are all competing in the NBA Finals as the series is set to play Game 5 on Saturday night in Phoenix.

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Team USA is scheduled to be back on the floor on Friday, July 16 in a rematch against Australia, but there has been no determination if Jayson Tatum will be available to play.

The first Group Stage game of the Olympics is on July 25 against France.