Zalgiris loses captain Jankunas for the season 0

Zalgiris Kaunas suffered a serious blow with the news Monday that team captain Paulius Jankunas will be lost for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury. Jankunas, 28, aggravated an existing injury in his right shoulder during an overtime victory last Thursday against Brose Baskets Bamberg, the first Top 16 road win by Zalgiris in almost a decade.

Doctors have since decided that Jankunas will need surgery that will sideline him for approximately four months.

Jankunas has spent all but one of his 10 seasons with Zalgiris, the club he came up with in his hometown of Kaunas. This season, Jankunas was the team’s leader in minutes played, almost 25 per game, and in rebounds, 4.8 on average. He also put up 8.2 points and 1.2 assists per game. In 162 games over his Euroleague career, Jankunas ranks ninth among all-time in career rebounds, with 886. He has pulled the fifth-most rebounds of any player since joining the Euroleague in 2003.

The loss of Jankunas in the frontcourt follows that of Ibrahim Jaaber, who left the team for personal reasons three weeks ago, in the backcourt.

Zalgiris enjoyed its best regular season in many years by winning Group C with an 8-2 record. It is now 3-4 in the Top 16 as it prepares to host Panathinaikos Athens on Thursday in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Game of the Week