Basketball: Abercrombie - and his ankle - confident of playing

Thomas Abercrombie. Photo / Getty Images.
Thomas Abercrombie. Photo / Getty Images.

Tom Abercrombie is confident he'll overcome an ankle injury to play in game one of the ANBL finals against Perth on Thursday.

Abercrombie's left ankle is one of the most talked about limbs in Australasian basketball after the 24-year-old was felled by Townsville's Peter Crawford late in Saturday night's defeat of the Crocodiles.

Someone's even set up a Twitter account purporting to belong to the ankle, with various tweets offering updates on how rehabilitation is going.

Abercrombie was largely a spectator at Breakers training today. He suited up and had the ankle strapped but his activities were restricted to walking around the court.

Most of his time was taken up with regular rounds of ice, manipulation and acupuncture to try to reduce the swelling.

A cortisone injection closer to game time is a possibility - that's what got teammate Cedric Jackson back on the court for game two against Townsville - and Abercrombie declared he will do whatever it takes to play. The fact he will have eight days to recover before the second game in Perth is a bonus.

"There has been a lot of improvement since I (suffered) the injury and it continues to improve," he said. "I just have to continue to do the right things off the court and do my rehab ... and hope for the best. We are not going to know at this stage if I am going to play but I am planning on it and I'm hopeful at this stage.

"[There's] not so much pain but swelling. I'm still waiting for that to go. That's the main thing at the moment and it's impeding a little movement in the ankle. Once that goes down, I will have a better idea of how I will be able to go. In terms of pain, there's not a whole lot. That's a good sign."

It's also a good sign Abercrombie is on his feet. Travellers at Auckland airport last week witnessed the unusual sight of Jackson being rolled around on a wheelchair a day before he went on to score 14 points and produce five assists in more than 27 minutes of action against the Crocodiles.

He wasn't as effective in the semifinal series as he has been all season but, like Abercrombie, is a key member of the squad. The Breakers have good depth and their bench contributed 79 points in the two defeats of Townsville, but no one can do what Jackson and Abercrombie can.

Abercrombie averages 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds a game and is shooting at 45.8 per cent from the floor and an impressive 43.4 per cent from behind the three-point arc.

The swingman is a little bashful about it, but CJ Bruton has announced the Breakers as "Tommy's team" since Kirk Penney's departure.

Even if Abercrombie plays, he won't be at 100 per cent, meaning Leon Henry is likely to see more game time. Henry has spent more minutes on court in the latter stages of the season than earlier, providing impact off the bench, including a handful of clutch three-pointers and crucial rebounds to shake Townsville.

"If [Tom] doesn't play, we have other options and Leon has come in and played great over the last couple of weeks," coach Andrej Lemanis said. "One of the strings [to our bow] this year has been our depth. Regardless of who we are playing and who we have on the floor, we are confident we can get the job done."

They will be even more confident with Abercrombie there.

apnz mb cr


Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 Apr 2017 11:30:23 Processing Time: 636ms