Ilyasova shut down, may not play in basketball World Cup

Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova sprained his ankle in a preseason game on Oct. 8 in Cleveland and battled the injury all season long.

David Richard/David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have shut down Ersan Ilyasova for the remainder of the season due to a lingering right ankle injury.

Ilyasova was examined by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel in Los Angeles on Tuesday and was advised to begin a two-month period of rest and rehabilitation immediately. He plans to see another specialist next week in North Carolina.

"I have swelling on the joints, and the best way to treat it is to get rest," Ilyasova said. "It said it is about a couple of months and as soon as the swelling is down you can continue to work out."

Initially spraining his ankle in a preseason game on Oct. 8 in Cleveland, Ilyasova has been bothered by the ankle off and on throughout the season. He missed seven exhibition games before returning for the season opener Oct. 30 in New York.

Ilyasova missed 16 games throughout the course of the season due to the ankle, and the Bucks recently announced he wasn’t going to play in the second half of back-to-back games.

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"I’ve never had problems with my ankle," Ilyasova said. "I think it started when I twisted it really bad in training camp. I really rushed myself to get back for the first game of the season. That game I remember I twisted my ankle four or five times. I tried to push myself. It was just really awkward. It just really built up, and our schedule doesn’t help.

"I was struggling the whole season with it. I want to fix it and be ready (for next season)."

He averaged 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 55 games and 47 starts, but saw his shooting percentage dip to 40.9 percent from the field and 28.2 percent from beyond the arc. Ilyasova finished fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage last season at 44.4 percent, but the injury impacted his shooting ability this year.

"I felt better on the days off but as soon as I play it comes back," Ilyasova said. "The whole season was kind of like that, back and forth. There’s 11 games left. You have to use that time to just get ready for the next season."

The injury may impact Ilyasova’s ability to play for Turkey in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer in Spain. Ilyasova and Rockets center Omer Asik are two of Turkey’s marquee players, as Hedo Turkoglu just retired from the national team.

"(Doctor Ferkel) said, ‘It is about your career,’" Ilyasova said. "I will discuss it with the federation of the national team, and I will probably not go there. I have to figure out things and get it better. Training camp starts in July, and that’s when we will start the discussions.

"I’m most likely not going to go. I want to be ready for next season. Our season was disappointing as far as the record and stuff. I’m looking forward to next season. It’s going to be really, really exciting."

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