Serbia's Boriša Simanić loses kidney after injury at FIBA World Cup

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - AUGUST 30: Borisa Simanic #28 of Serbia drives the ball against Nuni Omot #1 of South Sudan during the first round Group B match between South Sudan and Serbia on day 6 of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at Araneta Coliseum on August 30, 2023 in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images)
Boriša Simanić required two operations and the removal of a kidney after a blow to his abdomen during a World Cup game. (Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images)

Serbian power forward Boriša Simanić lost a kidney because of an injury suffered during Wednesday's win over South Sudan at the FIBA World Cup.

The Serbian Basketball Federation announced Monday that Simanić underwent a second surgery on Sunday that required the removal of the injured kidney.

"Due to changes in the vitality of the kidney tissue, the entire kidney had to be surgically removed," the statement from team doctor Dragan Radovanović reads, via translation.

Simanić appeared to sustain the injury while playing defense in the post during the World Cup game in Manila, Philippines. Video shows Simanić bend over in pain after taking an elbow to the abdomen from Sudan's Nuni Omot as Omot made a move under the basket.

Simanić left the game and initially required surgery that night. The team announced that there were complications over the weekend that required the second operation and the removal of the injured kidney.

Head coach Svetislav Pesic told reporters that Simanić experienced heavy bleeding, but that the surgery "ended well."

"It was a huge shock for all of us," Pesic said, per Basket News. "We could not have expected that such a blow could be not only painful but tragic. It's good that it's over.

"The team was together all night, they were searching for extra blood because it was not possible to collect enough since Borisa was bleeding a lot. It ended well."

Serbian forward Nikola Milutinov spoke with reporters about his injured teammate Monday.

“It was really tough for us when we heard what happened,” Milutinov told reporters. “First, we didn’t believe it was such a bad thing. It’s really affected us. We’re really praying for him that he’s going to be good as soon as possible.”

Omot issued an apology and wishes for Simanić's health after Wednesday's game.

"I heard that he ended up going to the hospital," Omot told reporters. "My apologies, I didn't mean to make no type of a dirty play. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I pray for you, you'll be in my prayers.

"I'm not a dirty player, I've never been a dirty player. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize to everyone that's watching and to the player especially."

Simanić played a limited role off the bench in 6.5 minutes per game in three appearances before his injury. Serbia has played two games since Simanić's injury, a loss to Italy on Friday and a win over the Dominican Republic Sunday to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, where it will face Lithuania on Tuesday.