Petteri Koponen has taken his boldest step yet to prove that he will fit in perfectly with the Blazers: he got injured. Hippo's words after the totally related video clip.
The last couple of weeks have been very good for Petteri Koponen and Virtus Bologna. The storied Italian powerhouse has been fighting for playoff home court advantage furiously since February, winning seven out of their last nine while their Finnish floor general has been improving every game, even catching the attention of NBA and Euroleague scouts.
That run is over for now.
According to this release by the Finnish Basketball Federation (FBF for LIFE-Ed. ), Koponen will be out for the next three months because of a stress fracture in his leg. Here's what the man himself has to say:
"For last a couple of months I've felt pain in my foot and have received proper treatment here in Italy. Earlier this week, the medical staff of Virtus Bologna talked with Finnish national team medical staff and made me wear a cast."
Since the fracture was noticed early, Koponen should be able to play rather quickly. He will for sure miss the Italian league playoffs, but it's possible that he will play August 5, when Finnish national team meets Montenegro in the Eurobasket Qualifications opener.
"Hopefully the healing process starts quickly and I will be able to get back on track quickly and represent my country in the Eurobasket qualifications. Now I have no opinion but to rest, gather energy into my body, and come back stronger than ever."
Koponen will most likely return from Italy to Finland in May. Virtus Bologna lost their first game without Koponen on the road against Scavolini Pesaro 73-90.
In his second season with Virtus Bologna, Koponen averaged 11.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.5 turnovers in 27.7 minutes per game with shooting percentages of 63.9 percent (2pt fg), 39.8 percent (3pt fg) and 77.8 percent (ft).