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Tayshaun Prince returns to action for Team USA

Yesterday, A. Sherrod Blakely posted this on

Because Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince are Team USA role players, being worn down when the season starts in a couple of months shouldn't be an issue with either.

Still, even with limited minutes, the chances of getting hurt remain the same.

That's why you can bet there was a collective sigh of relief among the Pistons brass when they learned that Tayshaun Prince's sprained ankle injury wasn't that serious.

He was right -- the injury forced Tayshaun to miss one game (against Mexico) but he was able to return last night against Puerto Rico. In 19 minutes, he scored seven points with six boards.

I guess it's true that Prince is a "role player," but only three other players (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Redd) played more minutes than he did last night. That's been the trend the entire tournament: Prince led the team with 24 minutes against Venezuela, tied for the team lead with 19 against the Virgin Islands and was fourth on the team with 19 against Canada. In fact, the only game he's played fewer minutes was against Brazil, when he sprained his ankle and finished with four minutes.

This team is so deep that everyone is basically a role player -- LeBron is leading the team in minutes with just 20.8 per game. But it's not just the games that wear players out but the whole experience -- all of the practices, scrimmages, living out of a hotel, etc. So with that in mind, I'm still worried about Tayshaun and Chauncey getting worn out, or at the very least, not re-charging their batteries enough.