Serbian forward Boriša Simanić has reportedly had his kidney removed as a result of an injury he sustained at the FIBA World Cup. The injury occurred in Serbia's game against South Sudan on August 30, with Nuni Omot appearing to accidentally elbow Simanić in the gut. While Simanić saw out the rest of the game, he reportedly underwent emergency surgery hours later to address the collision.
However, according to head coach Svetislav Pesic, Simanić suffered complications over this past week and a second surgery was required to remove his kidney entirely. "As a sportsman, I firsthand understand the severity of his situation and I am deeply sorry that this happened. No player should have to go through that. I pray for Simanić's recovery and speedy return to the court," Omot said in a statement as the news of Simanić's condition broke.
Serbia Advance Without Simanić
Serbia remains active in the FIBA World Cup without Simanić. They beat Lithuania 87-68 in the quarterfinals, with the team leading a chant of Simanić's name. Furthermore, the win secured Serbia's qualification to the 2024 Olympics as one of the two highest-placing European sides at the tournament. They will face Canada in the semifinals for the opportunity to play the United States or Germany in the final. Serbia are three-time medalists at the FIBA World Cup. They won back-to-back golds in 1998 and 2002 before winning a silver in 2014. They have already improved on their 2019 performance, where they finished fifth. Meanwhile, their trip to the Olympics next year will be their first since earning a silver medal at Rio 2016.
Simanić plays his club basketball at Basket Zaragoza in Spain. However, he also made an appearance during the 2022 NBA Summer League as part of the Utah Jazz roster. Prior to his injury, he had only played 20 minutes at the World Cup, putting up a stat line of 3/3/1. He will reportedly remain in the Philippines as he continues to recover from his surgery. We wish him all the best in his recovery.