NBA MVP Curry to skip Rio Games to rest knee

(Reuters) – Stephen Curry has withdrawn from consideration for the U.S. basketball team for the Olympic Games in Rio to allow a knee injury time to heal, the league MVP announced on Monday.

The Golden State Warriors guard missed four games in their post-season run after spraining his right knee but returned to action on May 9 to help the Warriors take a 2-0 lead over Cleveland Cavaliers in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

However, Curry has decided not to risk inflaming the injury by participating in what would have been his first Olympics.“After a great deal of internal thought and several discussions with my family, the Warriors and my representatives, I’ve elected to withdraw my name from the list of eligible players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil,” Curry said in a statement released by the Warriors.

“I recently informed (USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo) of this decision.”

Colangelo said USA Basketball understood but was disappointed not to have Curry join their gold medal defence.

“Obviously we are disappointed but we understand and we are fully supportive of his decision,” Colangelo said in a statement.

“Steph is a two-time FIBA World Cup gold medallist who has made great contributions since he first began playing for the United States at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.

“Steph has always represented his country in an exemplary manner, and we are sorry that he won’t be able to be with us this summer.”

Curry, 28, will probably still be in contention for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski and the 12-man U.S. roster – expected to be unveiled later this month – will convene in Las Vegas on July 17 to begin training camp for the Olympics.

(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Neil Robinson)

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