BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Borisa Simanic, the Serbian player who needed a kidney removed during the Basketball World Cup, has been discharged from a Philippines hospital and was able to join his team for its silver-medal celebration in Belgrade.
Simanic told Radio Belgrade that he must rest for three months, and then the process of determining whether he can play basketball again will begin. Doctors who treated Simanic in Manila believe it is possible that the 25-year-old forward can resume his career.
Simanic was injured during an opening-round game against South Sudan on Aug. 30. He was elbowed in his side as a South Sudan player attempted to get around him for a shot near the basket. Simanic needed emergency surgery that night to stop internal bleeding and fix other issues, and then doctors performed a second surgery to remove the kidney on Sept. 3 after determining how badly the organ was damaged.
Serbia kept Simanic’s jersey draped over a chair throughout the rest of the tournament as a tribute. The team reached the gold-medal game, losing to Germany. Simanic scored three points in about 20 minutes off Serbia’s bench in three games during the World Cup.
The event served as a massive celebration of sport in Serbia. Novak Djokovic, who won his 24th Grand Slam tennis title by capturing the U.S. Open on Sunday, also joined the basketball team on stage to be feted by thousands of fellow Serbians. Also on stage: Serbia’s Nikola Jokic, who led the Denver Nuggets to last season’s NBA title but chose not to play in the World Cup.