Dario Saric made it clear that he was sidelined for much-needed rest and not because of an injury.
“My health, everything is right,” the 76ers reserve power forward said Wednesday. “We just don’t want to risk [anything].”
So Saric sat out Wednesday’s preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. The second-year player will also miss Friday’s home game vs. the Boston Celtics. Joel Embiid (left knee) and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee) will also remain sidelined.
Saric’s eyes tell the story of someone fatigued from basketball overload during the last three months. That’s because he played for his native Croatia in last month’s EuroBasket tournament.
Saric reported to training camp back in his home country on June 5 before competing in the tournament in August.
“I was not practicing here like you come in the off-season and shoot around in some scrimmage game,” Saric said. “I have been practicing with the national team two practices a day. We decide to give me some break for maybe two days, maybe three, maybe four.”
So far, he has missed Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday’s shootaround and game. Saric hasn’t shut things down completely, though. He’s doing side work, lifting weights and working in the whirlpool while the Sixers practice.