Tatum returns to practice, still out with sprained ankle




SHENZHEN, China (AP) -- Jayson Tatum was able to return to practice with the U.S. men's basketball team Monday, less than a week after he sprained his left ankle.

He will not play Monday night when the U.S. (4-0) closes out World Cup second-round play against Brazil. It is unclear if Tatum will be ready for a potential quarterfinal game against either France or Australia on Wednesday, provided the Americans advance.

''I hope I can play,'' Tatum said. ''There's no timetable or anything. I'm just trying to get back right.''

Tatum said he went through the entire U.S. shootaround practice in advance of the Brazil game, able to run and cut without difficulty.

''Felt good,'' Tatum said.

The forward from the Boston Celtics sprained the ankle in the final seconds of overtime in last week's 93-92 win over Turkey, on a play where he set up U.S. teammate Khris Middleton for what became the game-winning free throws. Tatum made two of three free throws with one-tenth of a second left in regulation of that game, sending it to overtime.

Tatum started the first two games of the tournament for the U.S., averaging 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per contest.

''When it first happened I was upset,'' Tatum said. ''I didn't want to miss any games. But it's nothing significant.''

U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said he didn't have an update on when Tatum could potentially return, though seeing him on the floor Monday was an obvious good sign.

''It's encouraging,'' Popovich said.

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