Shayne Hope of The West Australian newspaper is the bearer of devastating news for Perth Wildcats fans today, with the possibility that the heart of the Wildcats, Damian Martin, may miss up to three months of NBL action with a foot injury he sustained against the Melbourne Tigers:
Martin will consult a surgeon today to find out whether he requires an operation to repair damaged ligaments, which are connected to the little toe on his right foot.
In a best-case scenario, the 27-year-old would not require surgery and would spend just another two weeks out of the team. But Martin said surgery could force him out of the line-up for two to three months.
“I’ve actually ruptured at least one ligament and I’ve got a big tear in another one,” he said.
“Hopefully it won’t require surgery, but if it does I’ll get it done as soon as possible.
“If I had to get surgery it would be anywhere from two to three months.”
“You don’t want to miss games regardless but especially this year where there is a bit of a special feeling amongst the group,” Martin said.
“I definitely don’t want to have to miss out on being a part of the group this season.”
The Wildcats entered the 2011/12 NBL season as title favourites and so far have not disappointed. Star forward Shawn Redhage has made a remarkable recovery from surgery to start the season in epic form and import guard Kevin Lisch has many claiming that he is MVP material.
The Cats have so many weapons that it is arguable that they can weather the storm of Martin being out for an extended period, for him to return in time for the playoffs, but of course they would prefer not to. They have endured their fair share of injury woes in recent times and this would be another unfortunate dent in their title hopes as they battle the likes of reigning champions the New Zealand Breakers for league supremacy.
A massively deep team, should Martin be out for a lengthy period, the emphasis will fall more to Lisch, defensive menace guard Brad Robbins and swingman Cam Tovey to shoulder the load of both setting up the offence (as Martin does so well) and defensively disrupting the opposition, with Martin renowned as possibly the best on-ball defender in the league.