LATE START NOT A HANDY ISSUE

Chantelle Handy expects to be fit for the start of Great Britain’s pre-Olympic tune-ups despite sitting out the first fortnight of the team’s training camp in Guildford.

The Durham-born forward is being nursed back slowly from a foot injury sustained during a game late on in the Greek League season.

It has left Handy kicking her heels on the sidelines at Surrey Sports Park while her team-mates get down to work on the court.

However she is determined to be ready for the opening friendly in Croatia on June 28.

Handy: waiting (Dan Wooller)

“I’ll be back hopefully in two weeks,” she said.

“I’ve broken my fifth metatarsal, two months ago at the end of the Greek League season. But the recovery is going well. I feel strong. And now I’m dying to get out there with everybody else.”

Handy’s form in last summer’s EuroBasket has meant her place in Tom Maher’s Olympic team looks secure in spite of her enforced absence on the floor at the outset of the build-up.

But she has had to remain a keenly interested observer amid the rehab process.

“I’ve had to take in the teaching,” she said.

“It’s different sitting there and watching things I’m going to have to go in and do when I start playing. I’ve had to sit and watch and observe and learn things off the court.”

March in doubt

Tom Maher’s side may miss out on marching with the rest of Team GB in the opening ceremony if they are handed an early start on the first day of the Games.

With Australia their scheduled opponents, British Basketball chiefs have lobbied for a late tip-off for their first game.

However performance chief Chris Spice admits a daytime slot could scupper the squad’s hopes of joining in the traditional jamboree at the Olympic Stadium.

“The men will march without doubt because they play the following day,” he confirmed.

“The women, if they get an evening time slot, it’s an easy decision: we’ll let them march. If it’s an early game, we’ll have to discuss that. But if the draw is kind and we get one of the two evening slots, we’ll be fine.”

Main pic: BB/Dan Wooller

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