Deng hopes to avoid surgery

  • Last Updated: August 8 2012, 7:13 BST

GB basketball star Luol Deng is confident of avoiding surgery on the wrist injury that had threatened his participation in the London Olympics.

Luol Deng: Hopes to avoid surgery

The 27-year-old Chicago Bulls forward suffered damage to the ligaments in his left wrist back in January, but postponed surgery to help the Bulls' play-off push and then insisted on playing for Britain at the Games rather than having the operation his NBA paymasters wanted.

"I'm still discussing it but I feel like I don't need it," Deng said of surgery. "If it was one of those injuries that's getting worse and worse and worse then I would do it.

"But I've been talking to my doctor who did the first surgery and I've been getting a lot of feedback from her.

"We are just taking time and if I feel like all of a sudden it's bothering me that much then we will get it. But it hasn't got to that yet."

Deng certainly did not appear to be suffering any effects of the injury on court as he turned in a series of starring performances for Britain, logging heavy minutes in the opening four games of the tournament.

He played the full 40 against Brazil and 39 against Russia, and while he only played 24 minutes against China, he battled early foul trouble and was then not required as Britain cruised to a 90-58 rout.

"I felt fine," Deng said. "(Britain coach Chris) Finch kept asking me about it but he even said that in practice it looked fine. It felt better than it did during the season.

"I know it was, 'Do I get the surgery or don't I?' I asked a lot of different opinions, different doctors. Just for me, myself, if I couldn't do it (play) I would get it. If I felt in a lot of pain or if I was useless out there, I would definitely do it but the pain has gone down a lot.

"There are times when it's painful, I'm not going to lie, but it's not enough for me to say 'I'm out of it'."

Britain finished 1-4 in group play to be eliminated before the quarter-final stage, but Deng believes their results need to be understood in context.

The British programme has been built from scratch over the last seven years, yet fought close games against some of the world's best teams, losing by one to European champions Spain and by five to a Russia team who have looked scintillating at times in London.

"What people don't realise is we're playing Spain to one point, playing (Americas champions) Brazil, we had Australia down by 15, and just had two bad quarters - a quarter and a half if you like," Deng said.

"People need to stop. These are the Olympics. These are the best teams in the world."