SHENZHEN, China — Jayson Tatum returned to Team USA practice after an ankle injury but will miss a third consecutive World Cup game Monday when the team faces Brazil (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+).
Kemba Walker missed Monday’s shootaround with illness but was listed as probable to play in the final second-round game. Walker has been the Americans’ leading scorer at 14.8 points per game in the World Cup.
Tatum was able to go through the entire workout at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center without limitations, hinting that he might be able to return Wednesday, when Team USA is expected to enter the knockout round.
“I’m feeling good, feeling a lot better than when it first happened,” said Tatum, who sprained his left ankle in the final seconds of an overtime victory over Turkey on Tuesday. “I hope I can play [Wednesday], there’s no timetable or anything. Just trying to get back right.”
If the Americans beat the Brazilians, they would advance to the quarterfinals with the top seed and clinch a spot in next summer’s Tokyo Olympics. They could still accomplish both with a loss, but it would be out of their hands, and they would face the possibility of elimination if they lost to Brazil by at least 22 points.
A victory would assure Team USA of playing Wednesday in Dongguan, a short bus ride from Shenzhen, against the loser of Monday’s France-Australia game. If the Americans lose and still advance, they would have to fly to Shanghai and play the winner of France-Australia.