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Fourth-Place Medal

Tony Parker and his eye have been cleared for the Olympics

Fourth-Place Medal

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Tony Parker shows Team France's new uniforms to Thierry Henry (Andrew D. Bernstein/ Getty).

One of the weirder stories of this sports summer, apart from anything involving Metta World Peace, has been that San Antonio Spurs point guard and French superstar Tony Parker scratched his cornea during a club fight involving recording artists Chris Brown and Drake. It was like something out of a tabloid "Mad Libs," or maybe just the sort of thing that can happen when rich and famous people in their 20s and early 30s get together.

At first, it seemed as if Parker would only be sidelined for a week and have no trouble playing in the London Olympics. Then, shortly after suing the club W.i.P. for $20 million, Parker and his representatives claimed that the injury was actually very serious, and that the Spurs were "very worried" about his condition. Not surprisingly, there were also fears that Parker would be kept out of the Olympics, devastating Team France's hopes of a strong showing in the process.

[ Photos: Photos: 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team ]

Good news, everyone! You can rest easy now, because Parker has been cleared to play by several ophthalmologists. From Reuters (via SLAM):

"Two eye specialists sent by the San Antonio Spurs have confirmed the opinion of the French doctor who had operated on Tony Parker and said he was fit to resume competition," the FFBB said on their website (

Parker had to undergo surgery to remove a shard of glass from his eye, which he was also at risk of losing.

The FFBB said that Parker would soon join the French team from Atlanta, Georgia, were he had his eye examined by the two ophtalmologists, adding he could play a few minutes of France's game against Britain on Saturday.

This is obviously terrific news for France, which can plan to play with its best player for as long as it stays alive in the tournament. Barring a setback, Parker will be there to lead Les Bleus.

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It's a little less clear exactly how this injury news plays into Parker's lawsuit, or whether or not the fears about his condition were pumped up with the sort of bluster common to legal disputes. Everything indicates that the suit against W.i.P. will continue as planned, because the issue is more one of potential damages to Parker's career and earning power — and doctors seem to say that danger was legitimate — rather than the actual effect on his ocular health. Legal precedent allows for that sort of lawsuit, and chances are this case won't ever make it to trial, anyway.

Of course, anyone who doesn't want to get bogged down in the world of legal wrangling can take solace in knowing that Parker will continue his basketball career with presumably no issue. He'll get to cross the English Channel with his compatriots in a few weeks time, and in the fall we'll see him in San Antonio attempting to bring the Spurs back to the NBA Finals. The only side that loses here, really, is the club that stands to lose millions of dollars. And seriously, have you seen how much their drinks cost? That's got to be extortion or something.

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