News has just been released that Aaron Bruce (Sydney Kings) has broken his tibia, a season-ending injury. The point guard has been in fine, career-best form this season, averaging 13.9ppg and 4.4apg.
With Bruce pushing his way into the consciousness of Australian Boomers selectors and even reportedly NBA scouts, the very rare vertical fracture of his tibia could not come at a worse time.
“I can’t control what has happened but I can control my reaction and I intend to turn this event into a positive and get over the surgery and into in to rehabilitation as quickly as possible,” Aaron said.
“I will also be doing as much as I can to encourage and support the team from the bench during the games and from the sideline during training. It is the absolute least I can do to support the coaching team and the players who have been so supportive of me since I joined the Sydney Kings at the beginning of the season,” he added.
Coach Ian “Moose” Robilliard points out the return of Graeme Dann this week and the need for in-form Luke Cooper, Luke Martin and Kevin Ratzsch to step up as the way to try to cover for Bruce’s loss.
Bruce’s ability to set up the offence and create outside shots in tough situations has been key for the Sydney Kings this season and his loss will be felt greatly by the team and its fans.
One logical replacement for Bruce may be now-free agent Patty Mills, formerly of the Melbourne Tigers. Whilst Mills has been cut by his Chinese team, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, he may not be available to any other clubs worldwide until after March. It is at that point that the Chinese season finishes and players will be released from contractual obligations, giving them FIBA waivers.
The Tigers have publicly discussed chasing Mills, but it is thought that they would not be able to access him unless one of their players sustained a season-ending injury. On the other hand, other NBL clubs would be able to pursue him, assuming he gets clearance from his Chinese club. Whether that happens, time will tell. Mills was today in Portland, supporting his Portland Trail Blazers at home against the Orlando Magic.
Bruce will undergo surgery tomorrow (Friday), which will be followed by extensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The Kings take on the Townsville Crocodiles, on the road, on Saturday (game to be televised on ONE at 10:30pm).