YI Jianlian has been listed as day-to-day as China’s coach wants his prized big man to be a hundred percent healthy for the knockout stages of the Fiba-Asia championships.
After playing against Korea on opening day, Yi sat out the defending champions' lone win against Malaysia on Friday as well as the match against another Asian powerhouse, Iran, on Saturday.
The NBA veteran, currently the face of the team, has been hampered by groin and hamstring injuries he sustained during what he had described as a "tough training camp" ran by new head coach Panagiotis Giannakis.
“We want him to be healthy in the knockout stages,” said the Greek coach.
When asked if Yi will play in the second round, Giannakis answered: “Day-by-day, we will see.”
Yi’s absence proved to be the difference on Saturday as the Chinese suffered a 51-70 loss to Iran, which topped the so-called 'group of death' with a 3-0 win-loss record in Pool C.
Without Yi, China was outrebounded by the Hamed Hadadi-led Iran squad, 37-33, including a 16-7 edge in the offensive category.
“Rebounding is something that we need to concentrate on,” said Giannakis.