The Olympic hopes of the New Zealand men's basketball team have suffered another blow with forward Tom Abercrombie pulling out of the squad, plagued by an on-going ankle injury.
Abercrombie suffered the injury during the Breakers Australian National Basketball League semi-finals and will now miss the Tall Blacks last chance Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela, in July.
Abercrombie's withdrawal is yet another setback for the side, which has also lost Spain based guard Kirk Penney through injury.
A scan has revealed Abercrombie has a bone chip floating around in his ankle and he needs surgery, putting him out for up to eight weeks.
Abercrombie says he resumed training recently after the Breakers championship win but the injury failed to improve, prompting the scan.
He says if he tried to play he wouldn't be at full fitness and could only make the problem worse.
The Tall Blacks squad will assemble in Auckland next month to prepare for the 12-team qualifying tournament, which nations get the final three spots for London.