Croatian star Dario Saric was kept out of the U18 European Championships in Poland for precautionary reasons after undergoing an MRI for lower back pain at the U19 World Championship.

A Croatian team official heinnews – working on behalf of FIBA Europe at the event in Wroclaw – that Saric’s pain had crept all the way down into his upper legs.

The official said the Croatian doctors found nothing serious in the MRI but the team decided to keep out the emerging star forward for precautionary reasons.

Saric has dominated in Europe over the past two seasons and many were anxiously awaiting how he would perform in Wroclaw.

Also held off the team in Poland is power forward Filip Bundovic, who played only 20 minutes in two games at the U19 Worlds in Poland. Bundovic suffered a sprained ankle four days ago and could not make the trip.

Yet another player unavailable for head coach Jaksa Vulic is point guard Dominik Mavra, who teamed up with Saric at KK Zagreb in winning the 2011 Nike International Junior Title in Barcelona in May.

The Croatian official said Mavra, who was not with the Croatians in Latvia for the U19 Worlds but was scheduled to appear in Poland, was suffering from a throat infection and felt weak.

The official, however, could not say why 16-year-old Mario Hezonja, who was Saric’s teammate on the Zagreb title winning side and at the U19 Worlds, was not with the Croatians in Poland. Hezonja may be due now to play at the U16 European Championship.




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