Basketball: Wilkinson set to play

Gary Wilkinson. Photo / Getty Images
Gary Wilkinson. Photo / Getty Images

Breakers big forward Gary Wilkinson says he will be ready to play his part in Thursday's Australian National Basketball League home match against Cairns Taipans despite a sprained wrist.

The 2.05m American hurt his right wrist in a fall at training this morning but said he will be fine to play the Breakers' first home game of the year after receiving physiotherapy.

"The wrist feels fine, Noosa (club physiotherapist) says it is a sprain with some minor damage to the ligaments but it doesn't feel too bad and I'm sure I'll be fine for Thursday night. So no worries, I'll be fine."

The Breakers will be relieved the in-form Wilkinson, who notched 27 points and nine rebounds in the road trip win over Adelaide on the weekend will be available.

Cairns will bring former Breakers Phill Jones and Lindsay Tait to Auckland and both will be out to impress home fans as much as their own coach and team mates.

With the presence of the ever-combative Jones who never backs down from physical confrontations, the match will certainly contain a flash point or two in a battle between the top two teams in the standings.

Cairns come into the match on a high after the weekend's 86-82 win over Gold Coast ensured they remain unbeaten at home so far this season.

The Breakers lead the standings with 11 wins and three losses while second-placed Cairns have nine wins and three losses but have played two fewer games than the leaders.

Meanwhile, Breakers shooting guard Kirk Penney has been named the league's player of the month for December.

Penney polled 38 votes to finish ahead of Melbourne Tigers' guard Corey 'Homicide' Williams (25 votes) and Perth's Shawn Redhage (15).

Penney averaged 20.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists over the course of the Breakers' five games in December. He hit the target 45 percent from the field while his three-point percentage was an impressive 51 per cent.

Penney's efforts helped the Breakers notch four wins and a loss for the month as they surged to the top of the championship table.

- NZPA

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