Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Manuel Calderson said the Spanish national team will be ready to defend their title at EuroBasket 2011 and that he fully expects to be on hand in Lithuania.

Calderon missed the 2010 World Championship in Turkey with a torn muscle in his left leg, suffered in a warm-up loss against the United States just five days before the tournament started.

“(Not being able to help the team) was tough for me,” said Calderon in Istanbul after Spain lost to Serbia 92-89 in the quarter-finals.

“I had been putting everything I had into the Worlds. But injuries never happen at good moments. And this one was even worse. But I will be back even stronger.”

Calderon has not played for Spain internationally since helping the Iberians to the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. He missed EuroBasket 2009 after having surgery on his finger, making the leg injury before Turkey 2010 all the tougher.

“You cannot change it. It is what it is. I could not play this year but we will be ready next year. Watch out for us next year,” said Calderon, who was joined in Istanbul by fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol, taking a break from the national team after a long NBA season.

“We’ll be back playing next year. I will be playing. Pau will be playing. We’ll keep playing. We just always want to be in the finals.”



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