Saturday, March 21, 2009

Panathinaikos' 'iron man' hurt before playoffs

Panathinaikos star Dimitris Diamantidis suffered a thigh injury in practice on Tuesday that puts his participation in the first two Euroleague playoffs games versus Montepaschi Siena next week in doubt. The 29-year-old guard was diagnosed with a quadriceps tear in his left thigh. Diamantidis will undergo a special treatment and not play or practice for now, the team said. He will miss the next Greek League game on Saturday against Aris BSA 2003, and his situation will be studied again on Monday. The opening game of the best-of-five series between Panathinaikos and Montepaschi is on Tuesday in Athens. Diamantidis has played all 16 Euroleague games this season, averaging 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists. 

The four-time winner of the Euroleague's Best Defender Trophy is considered an "iron man" because he has missed only two games in his entire five seasons with the Greens. Since the start of the 2004-05 seasons, when he moved from Hercules to Panathinaikos, Diamantidis has participated in 290 of the 292 official games that Panathinaikos has played in all competitions: 107 of 108 Euroleague games, 163 of 164 Greek League games and 20 of 20 Greek Cup games. The only Euroleague game that Diamantidis has missed was November 29, 2007 against Fenerbahce Ulker. His only Greek League no-show was a month ago, on February 15, a road game against Trikala.

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