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Injury concerns for Wildcats in NBL

AAP logoAAP 19/11/2016

The Perth Wildcats have paid a heavy price for Saturday night's 83-72 NBL loss to the Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena, with two key players suffering injuries.Injuries have plagued the Wildcats this season, with captain and primary playmaker Damian Martin sidelined for the next two months with a knee issue.Now they appear to have lost their frontcourt rock, with Matt Knight re-injuring his troublesome shoulder in the fourth quarter.Import Jaren Johnson had limped to the bench moments before Knight was helped off, leaving coach Trevor Gleeson with plenty to ponder ahead of his team's home game against Illawarra next Sunday."They're in with the doctor right now," Gleeson said post-game."Jaren's okay I think, but I haven't been briefed. Matty doesn't look good, so we'll just wait and see what comes back."Perth are sharing second spot with Brisbane after the Bullets thrashed the 36ers in Adelaide on Saturday night.The Cats still have NBL MVP candidate Casey Prather firing on all cylinders but might find it hard to claim a 31st consecutive finals berth without their battle-tested leaders.Forward Greg Hire believes the adversity will only galvanise his team."That's what I love about this group - whatever's being thrown at us, we really come together as a brotherhood," Hire said."That's one of our core values and we want to represent that. We want to walk off the court knowing that we stayed together."In the long run I think it will benefit us. I would love the whole lineup to be healthy but at the moment that's just not how it is. That's just part of professional sport."Sydney's win was their eighth of the season and lifted them back into top spot.Brad Newley and Kevin Lisch led the Kings with 18 points apiece.

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