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Marcin Gortat still experiencing foot pain, returns to US for medical tests

Alex Len isn’t the only Phoenix Suns center struggling with foot problems.

Suns starting center Marcin Gortat returned to the U.S. on Thursday to undergo medical tests on his right foot, according to EuroBasket 2013’s website. Gortat had been working out with Poland’s national team as they prepare for the EuroBasket 2013 tournament, which starts Sept. 4 in Slovenia.

The six-year NBA veteran took a leave of three weeks from the Polish team. He is expected to return in time for the tournament to start.

Gortat suffered an injury in the same foot in early March and didn’t play the rest of the 2012-2013 season for the Suns.

“Physically, I feel better and better, the rehabilitation is going well, but I still feel the pain of the foot, even during training,” the 29-year-old big man said.

“I have to make sure that I will be healthy for the whole season.”

The “Polish Hammer” is entering a contract year in 2013-14. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has maintained that he’s not looking to move Gortat, but the big man could become an attractive option in a trade as the season progresses — depending on the progress of Len, the team’s top draft pick in 2013.

Gortat averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 points per game in 61 contests last season. The 6-foot-11 center had a career year in the 2011-12 campaign, in which he averaged 15.4 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 55.5 percent in all 66 games of the lockout-shortened season.