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Joakim Noah Injury: France Says Bulls Star's Ankle Problem Could Keep Him Off The Team

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NOAH
AP

While the NFL lockout looks like it could be wrapped up soon, the NBA's labor dispute could extend for months or longer, potentially jeopardizing the season on the heels of one of the league's most exciting in recent memory.

Fortunately for the players, though, they've got an opportunity that NFLers didn't: they can take their skills overseas.

Deron Williams, one of the league's great point guards, recently announced that he'd be playing in Turkey, where he signed a one-year, $5 million deal with Besiktas, the team where Allen Iverson plays. And a handful of other players are looking at playing with their country's national teams in the qualifying tournaments leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

On Tuesday, France announced that it will be the beneficiary of a good deal of NBA talent, after obtaining insurance for the players that the league no longer provides during the lockout. RealGM reports that Frenchmen Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw, and Ronny Turiaf are all headed across the pond to play for their country's national team in the EuroBasket 2011 tournament.

One player who remains a question mark, however, is Bulls star Joakim Noah, a dual citizen of the U.S. and France.

According to FIBA's website, an ankle injury Noah sustained in a March game against Philadelphia is making the French wary of bringing him over. They've sent a team representative to Chicago to help coordinate his rehabilitation program, in the hopes that he'll be healthy enough to join the team in time for the tourney's tip-off on August 31.

The two teams that make the EuroBasket final game will advance to the Olympic Games.