Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stepanova tore knee ligaments while playing for UMMC Yekaterinburg last week

Maria Stepanova, the leading player for the Russian women's Olympic basketball team, has been ruled out of the London Games due to a knee injury suffered the injury while playing for UMMC Yekaterinburg in last week's Euroleague tournament.

According to UMMC director Maxim Ryabov, Stepanova's injury will require surgery to repair torn ligaments, which will likely sideline her for at least six months, Reuters reports.

The 33-year-old center has played in the last four Olympic games, helping Russia to earn two bronze medals - one in 2004 in Athens and the other in Beijing four years later. She has also won three European titles, including last year's win in Poland where her country secured a spot at the 2012 Olympics.

The Russian team will compete in the London games beginning on July 27. The team is considered to be a one of the leading contenders for gold, along with the United States and Australia.