With just a month to go before the European basketball championships, Russia have been dealt a major blow in their preparations with CSKA Moscow center, Sasha Kaun, sidelined with an injury.
The 26-year-old is scheduled to undergo minor groin surgery on Tuesday.
It will take him up to four weeks to recover, ruling him out of international duty and David Blatt’s squad.
However, former Utah Jazz forward Andrey Kirilenko, former Portland and Chicago forward Viktor Khryapa, and center Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets are all expected to fly the flag for Russia in Lithuania.
Russia’s only European triumph came four years ago. The continental championships, which will get underway on August 31, are vital for qualifying for next year’s London Olympics.