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Breakers guard Woodside out for two months

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016
Ben Woodside © Getty Images Ben Woodside

The New Zealand Breakers are on the lookout for a replacement point guard after learning Ben Woodside will be sidelined by injury for about two months.

The impressive American suffered foot ligament damage last Friday against Melbourne United, forcing him out of Sunday's home win over the Brisbane Bullets.

Coach Paul Henare described the diagnosis of 6-8 week minimum recovery time as a major setback after it was hoped the injury damage was relatively light.

"This is a blow first and foremost to Ben, for any player to be ruled out for any length of time is tough, he is hurting and we are hurting for him as a group," Henare said.

"Ben has quickly become one of the leaders in our group and the chemistry that he was building with the rest of the team was exactly what we expected when we signed him."

The 31-year-old is second in the NBL for average assists per game, at 5.5, sitting above the club great he replaced, Cedric Jackson.

Woodside hopes his injury won't disrupt the patterns the four-time Breakers were beginning to build, notching two wins last week to improve to third with a 3-3 record.

"Just as we were finding our chemistry as a group, just when we were moving in the right direction and we were establishing a real understanding, this happens."

The Breakers have turned to the international transfer market and Henare is hopeful of having a player arrive before Friday's home game against the Cairns Taipans, followed by a trip to Perth to face the Wildcats on Sunday.

Shooting guard Corey Webster and fill-in Australian guard Isaih Tueta ran the point effectively against the Bullets and can fill the same role if necessary this week, Henare said.

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