Australian big man Aron Baynes was in hospital as the Boomers made history on Saturday night, with his neck injury more serious than first imagined.
Baynes, who slipped and fell in a freak locker room incident during Australia’s group stage win over Italy, was ruled out of the tournament immediately.
Now, as was first reported by The Athletic, he is likely to miss the entire 2021/22 NBA season after suffering nerve damage in his neck, a source confirmed to News Corp.
While Patty Mills shouted “Baynesy!” after collecting the absent centre’s medal, the Boomers enforcer was watching from a distance.
A key piece of Australia’s core leadership group, Baynes’ loss was felt throughout a unit that was able to band together and win the nation’s first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.
“We’ve got his medal,” Joe Ingles said post-game. “Obviously he couldn’t be here as…