You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Craig in doubt for injury-hit NBL Bullets

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Vince Rugari

The Brisbane Bullets are hopeful star import Torrey Craig won't join big man Cameron Bairstow on the NBL sidelines after an injury scare at training.

Craig left the session on Wednesday in a moon boot after copping a suspected ankle issue, just days after Boomer Cameron Bairstow went down with a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The 26-year-old American is now in doubt for Brisbane's Boxing Day clash against Melbourne United.

Craig leads the NBL for average rebounds per game (8.5) and the Bullets for points (15.8), steals (1.5) and blocks (0.7), making him the player they could least afford to lose at this juncture.

Coach Andrej Lemanis is hoping for the best.

"You get these periods where you've got to deal with injuries, every team goes through it. It happens in sport," he told reporters.

"You deal with the circumstances as they unfold.

"Always for us it's 'you can't change the past, so what now?'

Brisbane's other import, Jermaine Beal, also didn't train on Wednesday and had his knee in a brace, but Lemanis said it was purely precautionary and that he's still expected to face Melbourne.

But Bairstow faces a 12-month spell on the sidelines and the realisation his ambitions of an NBA return are probably finished, after he crashed to the floor late in their overtime loss to Illawarra Hawks on Monday night.

The injury bookends a horror few months for Bairstow.

He missed the start of the NBL season because of a dislocated shoulder he suffered at the Rio Olympics and has failed to make the impact he would have wanted on the competition.

"Poor guy. Always, in this situation, the first thing I feel is just disappointment for the player," Lemanis said.

Lemanis is yet to decide if he will seek an immediate replacement for Bairstow.

Finding a player who can make an immediate NBL contribution halfway through the season is easier said than done, and Lemanis indicated he is more likely to promote from within.

"There's always the romantic notion that (some) guy's going to come in and suddenly be a fantastic player and it's all going to flow smoothly and isn't this a wonderful outcome," he said.

"History would suggest there's also something that goes on with the disruption in the team."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon