A shoulder injury has forced Patrick Mills to withdraw from Australia's world cup campaign with the NBA championship winner facing up to seven months out of action.
Fairfax Media can reveal Mills will have surgery in the coming days to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
He played through pain during the season and scans revealed the wear and tear injury just two weeks after he helped the San Antonio Spurs to an NBA title and on the first day of free agency.
Mills is shattered by the news which will see him miss what shapes as Australia's best chance to win a medal at a major international tournament.
The World Cup is in Spain from August 30 to September 14.
The 25-year-old Canberran was set for the biggest pay day of his career after having a breakout season in the world's best league.
Some experts predicted Mills' next contract would be worth up to $5 million after the best season of his five-year NBA career.
But his injury will rule him out of the first three months of the 2014-15 NBA campaign.
Mills starred as the back up point guard to Tony Parker and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich credited the former Marist College student for San Antonio's title run.
He scored 17 points in limited court time in game five of the NBA finals to lift the Spurs to a triumph.
Meanwhile, Australian-born NBA star Kyrie Irving has agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was said to be worth $US90 million ($97.4 million).