[Yi Jianlian makes a nasty/tough game face during a game against the Ivory Coast.]
According to sources, the MRI results on the injured Achilles heel of Yi Jianlian have come back negative and he should be ready to play in China’s opening knock-out round game against Lithuania on Tuesday.
Yi aggravated his inflamed Achilles against Russia last Wednesday and was held out from China’s Group C finale against Turkey on Thursday. Wang ZhiZhi and Lui Wei were also held out of Thursday’s game by China’s American coach, Bob Donewald. Before the game, because of Puerto Rico’s loss to the Ivory Coast, China knew they would advance to the next stage regardless of the outcome against the Turks.
If you watched China in previous international competitions in comparison to this year’s FIBA Worlds, or if you’ve simply listened to the television commentators for this year’s games, it’s easy to conclude that this Chinese team has played with more energy and more overt emotion than ever in the past. Much of that can be attributed to the style of Donewald, from coaching flair to simply practicing his Chinese players less.