Serbia’s Borisa Simanic loses kidney after taking elbow at Basketball World Cup | Fiba Basketball World Cup 2023

A Serbian player has had a kidney removed after taking an elbow to his midsection during a game against South Sudan at the Basketball World Cup.

The Serbian basketball federation confirmed on Monday that Borisa Simanic underwent two separate surgeries. The first came after last Wednesday’s game during which Simanic fell to the floor after taking an elbow from South Sudan’s Nuni Omot.

However, the Serbian team said that “due to changes in kidney tissue vitality, the entire kidney had to be surgically removed” in a second operation on Sunday. There were also issues finding the correct blood type for the 25-year-old. His teammate had volunteered to donate their own blood.

The Serbian team doctor, Dragan Radovanovic, said Simanic will remain in a Manila hospital for some time as he recovers. The tournament is being co-hosted by the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.

Omot issued an apology for the incident after Wednesday’s game.

“My apologies, I didn’t mean to make no type of a dirty play. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I pray for you, you’ll be in my prayers,” Omot said. “I’m not a dirty player, I’ve never been a dirty player. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologise to everyone that’s watching and to the player especially.”

Simanic has played for clubs in Serbia and Spain, and had a spell with the Utah Jazz’s summer league team in 2022. Serbia play Lithuania in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Tuesday.

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There are several examples of professional athletes who have competed with only one kidney. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was born with a non-functioning kidney, which was removed when he was a child, and went on to have a long career in the NFL. “The doctor cleared me, and I’ve been doing physical activity ever since I can remember,” Rodgers-Cromartie told the Boston Globe in 2008.