A major setback for the Melbourne Tigers in the final week before the 2013/14 NBL season with star import Stephen Dennis ruled out for the year with an Achilles injury.
In a cruel blow for the Tigers, they also had captain Tommy Greer sidelined for three months with a pectoral tear.
The loss of Dennis is particularly severe on the Tigers roster following some encouraging pre-season form.
Dennis was one of the brightest lights in the Tigers’ Loggins-Bruton Cup campaign.
The American snapped his Achilles tendon in a training injury. He will now be removed from the active player list and is likely to return home to the United States for his rehabilitation.
Greer tore his Pectoralis tendon during a recent training camp and requires surgery. The recovery time is expected to be three months.
The Tigers will remove him from the active player list and onto injury waivers.
Melbourne coach Chris Anstey was left to rue one of the more unfortunate days in Tigers history.
“It’s extremely disappointing for both players. The guys love both Steve and Tommy on and off the court and are shattered for them,” Anstey said.
“It’s a tough week however there is strength in this group. We will bounce back.”
Greer will focus on his rehabilitation and use the time off the court working in the club’s media department, a field he hopes to build a future career in.
He will also mentor his younger teammates with the aim to re-join the group in the second half of the season.
The club will discuss replacement options, however in the meantime newly contracted guard Owen Odigie and development players Alister McDonald and Greg Page will be given a chance to impress.
In other injury news Lucas Walker (groin) and Chris Goulding (ankle) remain on the club inactive list.
Walker is progressing well and is likely to return to the court in the coming week, while Goulding is on schedule for a November return after spending the past week undergoing hyperbaric treatment.