Larry Sanders injury: Bucks center sprains ankle at Team USA mini-camp

USA TODAY Sports

Just as he was beginning to gain comfort with his role with USA Basketball, the Bucks center suffered an injury setback.

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders was beginning to hit his stride with Team USA basketball during the Las Vegas mini-camp on Tuesday when he suffered a sprained left ankle, according to Sekou Smith of NBA.com.

The injury occurred when the big man was attempting to contest a shot and landed awkwardly on the foot of Houston Rockets swingman Chandler Parsons.

His head coach, Larry Drew, and Bucks general manager John Hammond were on hand to witness the injury, and they didn't seem overly concerned that he spent most of the afternoon in the trainer's room receiving treatment.

"He just sprained it and it blew up on him a little bit," Drew told NBA.com. "It’s (a) tough pill for him to swallow because you know how bad he wants to be out there. All of these guys do. But it’s just a freak thing that happened."

Sanders was visibly frustrated, as he had to watch from the sidelines with the knowledge that he was losing an opportunity to impress the coaching staff. Players understand that mini-camp is their chance to make an impression and earn valuable minutes that could earn them a spot on the Men's Senior National team.

Other players saw the convincing body of work Sanders was putting together, and it's likely the coaches did too. The injury figures to be just a setback -- he'll likely be called upon again when healthy.

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