Report: Guard Cory Joseph expected to rejoin Canada ‘soon’

Cory Joseph takes a shot during an exhibition game between Canada and Nigeria in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (Alex D'Addese/Sportsnet)

Point guard Cory Joseph isn’t in Australia for Canada’s exhibition game on Friday, but is expected to rejoin the team soon, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.

The 27-year-old was apparently having second thoughts about participating in the tournament according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. Canada Basketball would not comment on his absence when Joseph didn’t join the team for practice in Perth on Wednesday.

It has been a rough summer for Canada with the team losing Jamal Murray (ankle), RJ Barrett (calf), Kelly Olynyk (bone bruise), Chris Boucher (personal reasons) ahead of the tournament with injuries.

With Olynyk dropping out of the tournament after injuring his knee in an exhibition game last week in Toronto against Nigeria, Joseph and Khem Birch are the only NBA representatives expected to play in the tournament.

If Canada finishes in the top two of the Americas Division at the World Cup, it will earn a direct berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which would be the first time they would qualify for the Olympics since 2000.

The team will play five exhibition games starting on Friday before travelling for the start of the World Cup on Sept. 1 against Australia in Dongguan, China.

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