: With his rehabilitation from last week's ankle surgery expected to extend well into July, Rockets forward Shane Battier said on Wednesday that he will no longer be a candidate for the United States Olympic team that will compete in Beijing beginning Aug. 8.
"I just got off the crutches today," Battier said. "After talking to Dr. (Tom) Clanton, I won't start running until after July 4. There is a (USA Basketball) minicamp the last weekend in June. If you can't play in the minicamp, you probably can't make the team, so that that probably means the decision has been made.
"It's disappointing. At the same time, I was honored to be considered. I feel good about what USA Basketball has done. I think they'll be a great team and win the gold medal."
Battier joined the USA Basketball senior national team program in 2006, playing in the World Championships in Japan. He did not play in the Tournament of Americas qualifying event last summer in Las Vegas but is still on the 33-player roster from which the Olympic team will be selected.
Battier underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in his left ankle last week. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp in October. Battier, who was third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and was a second-team All-Defense pick, played with the injury throughout the season.
But it worsened dramatically April 9, forcing him to miss two games and to play with pain throughout the first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz.
Battier, 29, said he does not plan to play internationally in other events.
"I think I will move on," Battier said. "It was a great experience for me. But with my family and my off-court commitment growing, they will get my undivided attention."