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Wildcat skipper to make shock early return

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/11/2016 Justin Chadwick
A pic of Damian Martin of the Wildcats in action. © Getty Images A pic of Damian Martin of the Wildcats in action.

Perth Wildcats skipper Damian Martin will make a shock early return from jaw surgery in Saturday night's NBL clash with Adelaide at Perth Arena.

Martin was initially expected to be sidelined for several weeks after fracturing his jaw in the win over Melbourne United on October 23.

It was the second time he had fractured his jaw within the space of a year, with the latest setback requiring another round of surgery so a plate could be inserted into his jaw.

Earlier this week, Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said the chance of Martin making an early return against Adelaide was slim.

But Martin is now expected to play limited minutes during the match after making a successful return to training on Friday.

"I was really concerned when it happened. Damo doesn't show he's hurt unless he is legitimately in a lot of pain," Gleeson said of the injury.

"Damian's toughness is why the crowd loves him, and this is another example of that.

"He goes in there amongst bigger and stronger players. He's the heart and the soul of the Wildcats.

"We're glad to have him back out there."

Martin's return is a huge boost to the Wildcats, who will be without Kiwi guard Jarrod Kenny (groin) for several more weeks.

The Wildcats are in second spot on the table with a 4-2 record, while Adelaide are 3-3.

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