After a lot of pressure from Taubaté, the Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV) decided to back-off and “waive” Ricardo Lucarelli’s call-up for the national team. The 26-year-old outside hitter, by far Brazil’s best player at the position, underwent an Achilles tendon repair surgery eight months ago and is still in recovery, which is making his team feel very uneasy about his return in time to participate at the 2018 FIVB World Championship.
Parties from Taubaté and Brazil’s national team met this Tuesday and decided to take their time with the issue (Globo.com):
“Lucarelli will remain in Taubaté, in the medical department, so that he can rehabilitate both physically and technically. We have the correct parameters to gauge his recovery. When he is fully recovered, he will be able to join the team, no problems. The forecast is that the athlete reaches 100% of his performance in October. An early return can lead to more injuries. We will, of course, have to evaluate, month by month.” – Taubaté’s doctor Alexandre Paiva
The 2018 FIVB World Championship is set to happen from September 9-30. If Alexandre’s October prognosis is indeed true, then there is no way the team will release Lucarelli by the start of competition, which would promptly throw the team’s relationship with CBV into chaos and would most definitely get the FIVB involved, since healthy players cannot refuse to play for their national team, unless they are willing to face heavy sanctions. To make matters even worse, Mauricio Borges, who starts alongside Lucarelli at the outside hitter spot, has injured his knee during the VNL as gone through surgery.