By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing without Nemanja Bjelica, the main addition of the offseason has not been the only injury issue carried by Fenerbahce Beko since launching the 2022-23 editions of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and domestic competitions.
Bjelica, 34, has been sidelined with a calf injury and has yet to formally begin his second stint at the Istanbul outfit. The current plan for the Serbian power forward is to be part of team practices in the first week of 2023, the team updated his status Monday.
In addition, Fener placed Tonye Jekiri on the crowded list of unavailable players. The Nigerian center will undergo inguinal surgery and will be out for about eight weeks, the team announced. Scottie Wilbekin (left knee) and Johnathan Motley (left calf) are on the sidelines as well.
Scanning the market for healthy bodies, Kostas Antetokounmpo was signed to a contract for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, the team announced earlier Monday. The younger brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo was waived by the Chicago Bulls last week.
Despite numerous injuries through the top half of the 2022-23 season, Fenerbahce currently leads the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings along with FC Barcelona and AS Monaco. All three teams sit at 10-4. In Turkey’s BSL, the 9-2 W-L tally is good enough for the second spot, one game behind Turk Telekom and one game ahead of Istanbul rival Anadolu Efes. However, the team coached by Dimitris Itoudis has lost four games in a row, equally split between the continental and domestic leagues since 11 December.