By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Confirming intentions to retain Marcus Eriksson, ALBA Berlin’s sports director Himar Ojeda revealed a one-year contract extension for the Swedish sharpshooter on Monday.
“It is a win-win situation,” Ojeda told the German news agency dpa, combining the new contract with the player’s determination to return to action and the club’s desire to provide any necessary assistance.
The Berlin outfit keeping Eriksson was reported by news outlets based in Germany over recent months.
Eriksson, 29, was sidelined midway through the 2021-22 season due to a foot injury. Aggravating the injury before the 2022-23 season kept him out of action.
“I was nearing a comeback at the end of last season. I felt good. I was part of team practices for about one month. But I was unlucky again and hurt my knee. I had surgery in the summer,” he drew up yet another setback.
Before landing in Berlin in 2019, the Swedish swingman played for Herbalife Gran Canaria and FC Barcelona in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup, now BKT EuroCup, and also in Spain’s Liga Endesa. In Germany, he was crowned easyCredit BBL champion in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“I still have bad days, but it is too early to give up”
Facing the injuries, Eriksson was forced to make adjustments at the personal level, beyond basketball.
“You can learn a lot about yourself in such difficult situations,” he opened up to dpa on his mental health throughout the spell on the injury list, “I initially struggled, because I could not play basketball. I had never done anything else. It is important to deal with mental health and it also helps physical rehab.”
“I still have bad days, but it is too early to give up,” confessed Eriksson, “I want to play again. I don’t have a specific plan. It is very difficult to put a date on my return. It is just day to day, week to week.”
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net