The Shanghai Sharks are expected to be without Jimmer Fredette during their upcoming Merlion Cup campaign due to a minor injury he sustained while vacationing with family back home in the United States.

This will be a crippling blow to the defending Merlion Cup champions, who are already without some of their best players from the last Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season. French forward Guerschon Yabusele returned to the Boston Celtics in the NBA, while Chinese National Team member Liu Xiaoyu has transferred to the rival Beijing Shougang Ducks team in the CBA. American Nick Minnerath will serve as the Sharks’ lone reinforcement in this tournament.

Fredette was supposed to leave for China last Monday, but only arrived in Shanghai yesterday after having tests and treatments done back at home. He was received with huge fanfare at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport by supporters who have probably no idea of the injury, as it was not publicly announced by the team.

MRI tests results had revealed a minor Popliteus tear and he is expected to miss around 3-4 weeks, possibly making the former Brigham Young University standout available to return to play when the CBA kicks off in late October.

This news will be disappointing to fans hoping to watch the 10th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft play, who was hands down one of the highest-level talents of the Merlion Cup tournament last year. Unless there is a sudden positive development, he will not be expected to suit up for the Sharks in this year’s edition.

It is also yet unclear whether or not Fredette will travel with the Sharks to Singapore.