Russia national team David Blatt has given up trying to figure out if his star power forward Viktor Khryapa will be available for his side at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Russia knocked off New Zealand 78-56 to reach the quarterfinals and once again did it without the CSKA Moscow big man, who has yet to play a single minute in Turkey.

“He’s not comfortable right now. And I committed to him that unless we don’t desperately need him, I’m not going to play him. We didn’t desperately need so I didn’t play him again,” Blatt told a pack of journalists after the New Zealand game.

“Honestly I’m kind of in his hands. If he comes to me and says coach, I’m playing, I’m on the floor, then as far as I’m concerned he can put himself in. But since that’s not the case obviously he doesn’t feel good enough. It’s totally up to him at this point.”
Blatt said Khryapa, who played a huge role in Russia beating Spain to win the 2007 EuroBasket title, is dealing with a foot concern which dates back to an injury from his days with the Portland Trail Blazers.

“He broke some small bones in his foot. He’s got about six screws in his foot. And that gets irritated from an ankle turn or a hit and he’s just got some edema in his foot that’s making it painful for him to push and explode,” Blatt said.

“He is a very athletic player who depends on athletic movement and quick sliding and second jumping and things like that. And that really has an impact on him when he’s not 100 percent athletically. I’d like to see him just use his brain and be out there and play.”

Russia take on the United States in the quarterfinals.



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